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    What's on in London this June 2018 near Kensington

    June means summertime so we've got open-air concerts to enjoy as well as pomp and ceremony plus plenty of new art exhibitions too.


    The Hampton Court Palace Music Festival is on from 9 to 23 June 2018. As ever, there are big name acts with this year's artists including Lionel Richie, Paloma Faith, Gary Barlow, Tom Jones and the Beach Boys.

    The gates open at 5:30pm so you can head to the East Front Gardens for a picnic or early drinks before the show. (You can order a Festival Picnic to collect when you arrive.) There are bars and food stalls available too.

    The outdoor acoustic Viking Stage is new here this year. Emerging singer-songwriters and acoustic acts are performing a 40-minute set, providing a relaxing musical backdrop to the start of your summer evening.

    The concerts take place in a seated auditorium in the intimate Tudor courtyard, against the iconic Palace backdrop. The Auditorium opens at 6.30pm and the 90-minute concerts usually start at 9pm.


    The LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 is a free display at the Design Museum featuring 30 works from the 2018 nominees. This is a showcase to celebrate excellence and artistic merit in modern craftsmanship.

    On until 17 June, the exhibition features ceramics, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, papercraft and lacquer by outstanding craft-makers from across the globe, with 18 different countries represented.

    Also at the Design Museum, the Hope to Nope exhibition is on until 12 August examining the political graphic design of a turbulent decade. Alongside traditional posters and banners, it charts the rise of digital media which has given graphic iconography an extraordinary new reach.

    There are over 160 objects and installations, and you can uncover the real-time social media conversation around political leaders, through dynamic displays created in partnership with leading social listening platform, Pulsar.


    Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up opens at the V&A on 16 June 2018 bringing us fresh perspectives on her life through her personal belongings.

    Widely recognised as one of the most innovative and groundbreaking painters of the twentieth century, Frida Kahlo is also renowned for the iconic persona that she crafted through her dress and self-fashioning. Kahlo's disabilities throughout her life are also central to understanding her sartorial choices.

    This is the first exhibition to be held outside Mexico of Kahlo's clothing and personal possessions including prosthetics, medicines, accessories, jewellery, photographs and letters. These were discovered in the Blue House in 2004 following the opening up of cupboards and storerooms which had remained sealed for fifty years.

    Highlights of the exhibition include hand-painted corsets, examples of her famous Tehuana dress, and paintings such as My Dress Hangs There (1933) and The Love Embrace (1943), all providing an insight into Frida's personal and artistic world.


    There are two connected exhibitions opening at The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace on 8 June 2018.

    Splendours of the Subcontinent: A Prince's Tour of India 1875–6 looks at the Prince of Wales's four-month tour of the Indian Subcontinent. He visited over 21 localities that today encompass India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.

    The exhibition tells the story of this grand tour through the jewellery, gold and silverware and ceremonial arms presented to the future King Edward VII by local rulers as part of the traditional exchange of gifts.

    Splendours of the Subcontinent: Four centuries of South Asian Paintings and Manuscripts explore the long-standing relationship between the British Crown and the area historically called India, now the independent states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

    Including works of poetry, intimate portraits, images of court life, paintings inspired by contemporary literature and music, and vivid depictions of Hindu deities, the exhibition celebrates South Asian artistic traditions from Kashmir to Kerala.


    There's lots to see for free at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens this month.

    Opening on 19 June in the main Serpentine Gallery, we can see the first exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude in a London public institution since 1979.

    Christo and Jeanne-Claude are known for their ambitious, large-scale environmental works of art that intervene in the natural world and urban surroundings by altering both the physical form and visual appearance of sites. The exhibition includes sculptures, drawings and photographs spanning more than 50 years.

    Simultaneously, Christo is presenting The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake), a temporary floating sculpture on The Serpentine lake.

    Opening on 7 June in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, German-born Tomma Abts has been working consistently with the same format for twenty years. This is her first solo exhibition in a UK public institution and presents work from the last decade.

    And also this month, the annual Serpentine Pavilion opens on 15 June. Each summer the Serpentine invites an internationally-known architect to create their first built structure in England. This year the commission went to Frida Escobedo.

    Harnessing a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry, her atmospheric courtyard-based design draws on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and British materials and history, specifically the Prime Meridian line at London's Royal Observatory in Greenwich.


    The Queen's Birthday Parade, better known as Trooping the Colour, is on Saturday 9 June 2018.

    The Queen travels down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, by carriage, to arrive at Horse Guards at 11am. She inspects the troops in a wonderful ceremony before riding back and waving to the crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony for a 1pm RAF fly past.

    It can be really crowded to try and see this event so why not watch the rehearsals as you get the full show, just minus the Queen? The Major General's Review is on Saturday 26 May and The Colonel's Review is on Saturday 2 June. You can book tickets at:


    Almost 250 years ago, the RA's founding members agreed to hold an "Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures and Designs … open to all Artists", to help finance the training of young artists in the Royal Academy Schools. To mark this momentous occasion, the exhibition this year has been co-ordinated by Grayson Perry RA along with a Summer Exhibition Committee of Royal Academicians.

    The Summer Exhibition is the largest open submission exhibition in the world. It opens on 12 June 2018 and showcases a variety of work in all media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, architecture and film, and provides a unique window onto all areas of the contemporary art world.

    Also opening on 12 June 2018, The Great Spectacle tells the story of 250 years of the Summer Exhibition. In telling the story of these shows, this display offers an illuminating celebration of the Academy’s first 250 years and demonstrates the impact of these exhibitions on art in Britain and internationally.

    If you are planning a holiday to London this June, check-out Fraser Suites Queens Gate special offers and promotions! We are located in the heart of Kensington and surrounded by tourist attractions and large department stores such as Harrods. 


    Laura Porter writes and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.


    Required image credits: Hope to Nope, Design Museum: Women's March, Wellington, NZ, credit Andy McArthur  |  Frida Kahlo, V&A: Frida Kahlo with Olmec figurine, 1939. Photograph Nickolas Muray. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives  |  Serpentine Gallery: Christo © Wolfgang Volz