LAST CHANCE TO SEE!
Daily until 03 Jan 2012
Kensington Palace, former home to some of Britain’s best known royals including Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales, is currently transformed into the Enchanted Palace. An interactive visitor experience combining contemporary art installations, fashion, and live performance, it is an innovative response to a £12 million major renovation project currently underway at the palace.
The experience features stunning displays of courtly costume created by leading British designers Vivienne Westwood, Bruce Oldfield and Boudicca. Whilst visitors journey through the historic State Apartments, they discover the stories of Kensington’s seven princesses who once lived there. Dresses that once belonged to and were worn by Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales are also displayed alongside the fashion installations.
As part of the final evolution of Enchanted Palace, contemporary artist Chris Levine has created a series of spectacular light installations throughout the State Apartments, inspired by the palace’s fascinating history and its former royal residents.
27 December 2011 - 31 December 2011
Make the most of this last chance to experience the Enchanted Palace, with Christmas craft activities to keep children (and adults!) busy. Try your hand at making paper palace lanterns or paper roses, which will certainly keep you enchanted during the Christmas break. Activities take place between 11am-4pm and all materials are included in palace admission.
Please note: - Kensington Palace will be completely closed from 4 January - 25 March 2012 to enable the finishing touches to be put to the renovations.
On 26 March 2012, Kensington Palace will re-open* following a major £12 million transformation to improve the visitor experience of this iconic royal residence. The changes will introduce impressive new facilities including exciting exhibitions, public gardens, gift shop, café, and a £1 million Clore Learning Centre.
Victoria Revealed, a new permanent exhibition (from 26 March 2012) will explore Queen Victoria's life and reign through her own words. Visitors will learn about Victoria's first day as Queen at Kensington Palace, the romance of her early relationship with Prince Albert, their family life, as well as aspects of Prince Albert's involvement in the 1851 Great Exhibition. Set within the rooms Victoria lived as a child, exhibits will include paintings by Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Sir Edwin Landseer, gifts that Queen Victoria exchanged with Prince Albert during their engagement in 1839 and her wedding dress. Glamorous jewellery, poignant mourning clothes and other personal objects will sit alongside replica Victorian children's toys, try-on clothing and fun interactive displays for all visitors.
Kensington Palace’s temporary summer exhibition, Jubilee: a view from the crowd (24 May – 31 October 2012) will tell the story of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897 from the perspective of millions who joined in the festivities, from duchesses to street sellers. It will emphasise the great enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the celebrations - ‘Jubilee mania’ as one paper described it - focussing in particular on the spectacular procession through London on 22 June 1897 when the Queen, members of the royal family and soldiers from across the globe made their way to a special service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. The exhibition will showcase historic items associated with these exuberant Jubilee celebrations, such as uniforms worn in the parade and the lace flounce worn by the Queen in the official Jubilee portrait. Alongside film, sound and interactive displays, these objects will immerse the visitor in the celebrations of 1897 and bring to life Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
*Kensington Palace will be closed from 4 January – 25 March 2012 to enable the finishing touches to be put to the renovations.