Since it was built in 1605, London Kensington Palace, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, has been the home of six British monarchs and is soon to be the official London home of William and Kate. Today Kensington Palaces’ State Rooms are open to the public and are managed by the non-profit charity, Historic Royal Palaces.
Following a two-year renovation project, which cost £12 million, this grand palace reopened in March this year and aims to attract approximately 100,000 visitors annually. If you have yet to have visited the newly refurbished palace, you might want an indication of what the revamped 17th century marvel looks like.
Among the many new displays includes Princess Victoria’s white wedding dress, who spent a melancholy childhood at the palace, being kept in semi-isolation there by her controlling mother following the early death of her father.
Alongside Victoria’s simple white wedding dress are several of Princess Diana’s famous outfits, who of course also lived at the Palace from 1981 until her death in 1997. The dresses include a shoulder-less black taffeta gown that the late style icon wore in 1981 and a pink and purple sari-style dress that the Princess wore during a trip to Thailand in 1988.
Talking about how the Diana collection was chosen, Deidre Murphy, curator of ‘Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess’, said in a statement:
“We have carefully selected this collection of exquisite dresses to illustrate to visitors Diana’s evolving style and the important role fashion played in creating her public image.”
The £12 million renovation project included the construction of a new magnificent garden, which includes the roofing of the “White Court” to create circulation space and the fabulous Clore Education Centre to the south, which comprises of £1 million worth of new classrooms.
Although among London Kensington Palace’s now even greater opulence, the elegant neo-Georgian vision shared by John Simpson & Partners and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, the architects in charge of the renovation of both the Palace and the gardens, an odd surprise has been thrown in – Behind one of the pillars there is a pencilled message from 1902 that a workman wrote about his foreman that reads that he was a “Champion f***er!”
Tickets are now available to see the refurbished palace.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are due to move into one of the palace’s apartments next year.
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