Kensington Palace Reopens

March 26, 2012 by staff 

Kensington Palace Reopens, Kensington Palace will reopen to the public today after a £12million transformation. The revamp means that some of the palace’s private areas will go on display for the first time.

Highlights of the new-look Palace include a special exhibition dedicated to Queen Victoria, who was born at the royal residence and lived there until she turned 18.

There will also be a special exhibition of some of Princess Diana’s dresses and visitors will be able to uncover royal secrets in the beautiful Queen’s State Apartments.

Most impressively, the Palace’s grounds have been opened out. The iron railings around the front of the palace have been removed with only the original ‘Golden Gates’ remaining, while unobtrusive chest-height railings stretch around a new meadow. All the hedges and trees that were planted to seal off the outside world have been stripped away.

Visitors now have a completely uncluttered view of the grounds landscaped by Charles Bridgeman in the early 18th century and the palace itself.

Sitting in pride of place is the statue of Queen Victoria sculpted by her daughter, Princess Louise.

The new Jubilee Garden will become the public entrance to the Palace, instead of the palace’s south-facing ‘Golden Gates’.

For the first time ever members of the public will be able to wander into a royal palace without a ticket.

Visitors can simply walk straight up to the new front door, a covered portico known as the Diamond Jubilee Loggia, or approach via a hornbeam-lined zig-zag called the Wiggly Way.

They will then enter into ‘The White Court’ where they will be greeted by a light sculpture called Luminous Lace, which is made of more than two miles of electroluminescent wire and apparently replicates a royal lace pattern.

From there they will be steered towards one the grand ticket office – a covered courtyard decked out like a multi-storey four-poster bed – where they can choose from four exhibitions spanning four centuries.

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