Kensington Palace wins RICS awards
Independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, is delighted to announce that the £12million project to transform Kensington Palace which completed in 2012 has won two Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors London Awards.
The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment. Kensington Palace won awards in the ‘Community Benefit’ and ‘Tourism and Leisure’ categories at the London ceremony on 2 May.
Last year Historic Royal Palaces completed the £12 million project to transform Kensington Palace and open up the palace’s rich and varied stories to the widest possible audience. The project included four new visitor routes based around four centuries of royal history, improved visitor facilities including a new café and shop, dedicated education and community facilities, improved accessibility and dramatic new public gardens inspired by the area’s historic landscape to reconnect the palace with the park.
Since re-opening, children under 16 can visit the palace for free.
Natasha Woollard, Head of Kensington Palace for Historic Royal Palaces,
'Our ambition was to make Kensington ‘a palace for everyone’ and we are delighted that the achievements of the Kensington Palace transformation project have been recognised by RICS with these prestigious awards. Since re-opening, we are very proud to have enabled a record 404,000 visitors and numerous education and community groups to explore all that the new Kensington Palace and gardens has to offer. And our work to develop the Kensington Palace visitor experience doesn’t stop here – our future plans include a new exhibition opening this July and re-display of the State Apartments from 2014.'
Notes to editors
Kensington Palace has been home to some of the country’s most charismatic and best-known royals, including George II, Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Originally built in 1605 as a private country house, it was purchased in 1689 by King William III and Queen Mary II, eager to escape from the damp and smoke of Whitehall. They immediately ordered major improvements to the Jacobean mansion to make it fit for royal residence. The palace includes contributions from some of the most renowned architects of the past three centuries, including Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir John Vanbrugh, John Nash, Colin Campbell and William Kent. We use William’s royal coat of arms, with his family motto ‘I will maintain’, words that also aptly reflect the palace’s special collection of historic and modern royal dress.
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
We believe in four principles. Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work.www.hrp.org.uk
Registered charity number 1068852
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