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Day out at Kensington Palace in West London
10:47am Saturday 19th May 2012 in Leisure
MIKE LAYCOCK learns all about Queen Victoria and Princess Diana at a revamped palace.
What and where? Kensington Palace in West London.
Why? The palace, which has just undergone a £12 million refurbishment, now has two excellent exhibitions about two of the biggest royals of all time who lived there: Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.
The permanent Victoria Revealed exhibition features deeply personal objects from Victoria’s life, including her white silk wedding gown, the dolls she made and the gifts that she and Albert exchanged when they married. I was also fascinated by extracts from her journals, letters and reports from contemporary commentators, which show just how passionate Victoria was about Albert when they met, fell in love and married.
We also visited the Red Saloon room where, when she became Queen at just 18, she held her first Privy Council meeting. The Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess exhibition, which runs until September, features a small collection of some of the iconic dresses which so regularly hit the front pages in the 1980s and 1990s.
They include a black strapless evening gown by Emanuel, a sleek black cocktail dress by Gianni Versace, a shocking pink Catherine Walker gown and a demure cocktail dress by Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany.
When? Open daily 10am to 6pm, last admissions 5pm.
How much? Adults: £14.50, concessions: £12, accompanied children under 16: free.
How to get there? Easy. We travelled to London in less than two hours with Grand Central, and then took a number 10 bus from King’s Cross, which took us directly to Kensington in 50 minutes.
Further information: hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace or phone 0844 482 7799 Grand Central: You can travel to London from York with Grand Central from as little as £12 in advance. Visit grandcentralrail.com or phone 0844 811 0071.