Updated 25 March. In line with Public Health England guidance, we have taken the decision to close all six of our palaces and gardens until 31st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Please read our statement for further information. Read our statement

Court to Couture

In this special exhibtion, visitors to Kensington Palace will discover how clothing has consistently been used for spectacle, social comment and political statement, from the Georgian court to the modern-day high fashion events.

Prepare to be immersed in the world of the red carpet as the palace’s rooms are brought to life with examples of spectacular 18th century court dress, juxtaposed with show-stopping modern designs. Discover how the Georgian court prepared for and travelled to lavish royal functions at Kensington Palace and how this compares to getting ready for a 21st century red carpet event. Included in this display will be the Rockingham mantua - a stunningly intricate dress created for the Marchioness of Rockingham in the 1700s - which will be contrasted with contemporary couture dresses from some of the world’s top designers.

Alongside the glamorous gowns, portraits of some of the first Georgian celebrities will be paired with examples of modern high-fashion photography.

Further details will be released soon so stay-tuned! 

Top things to know:

  • The exhibition will be included in admission to Kensington Palace 
  • Admission will be by pre-booked time-slot ONLY for group and individuals. There will be no walk up business during the exhibition

 

The Rockingham mantua. Silk satin dress on black background.
Photograph of Queen Victoria, seated, holding the infant Prince Edward of York, later the Duke of Windsor. Standing behind the Queen is Edward, Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII and Prince George of York, later King George V.

Coming soon - Picture this! Life through a royal lens

For the very first time in 2020, groups to Kensington Palace can visit this exciting new exhibition of private photos taken by members of the Royal Family including works by celebrated fashion photographer and husband to Princess Margaret, Antony Armstrong-Jones.

For almost 200 years, the medium of photography has created an unprecedented intimacy between crown and subject. Learn how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s enthusiastic patronage of photography during its infancy helped this new invention receive greater scientific and public attention. On display will be examples of some of the earliest photographic images collected from the Royal Collection including a page from Queen Victoria's private negatives albums depicting Prince Albert. 

From the Victorian era to the Twentieth Century, the display will explore the impact of Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson’s work. Images of Her Majesty The Queen among other loyal sitters will reveal how their work shaped changing public perceptions of the Royal Family.

They may be some of the most photographed people in the world, but the royal family also have a passion for photography. A selection of images taken by members of the family will be exhibited, including works by Antony Armstrong-Jones, husband to Princess Margaret, who's images showed a different, informal side to the monarchy. Included in this display will be the infamous image of Princess Margaret posing in a bathtub wearing a Tiara alongside lesser-known images. 

Plan your visit 

  • The exhibition will be included in palace admission
  • Details on exhibition running dates will be announced soon
  • Pre-book your timed admission slot online