Visitors to Kensington Palace will have a special treat this year with a major new exhibition ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ opening this week in the palace that was her home for over 15 years. Twenty years on from her death, the exhibition and a temporary garden will celebrate her life.
The exhibition will follow the development of her iconic style, from the demure outfits she wore when she was newly engaged to the Prince of Wales to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. The garments will include the velvet dress she wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House, the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for her engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981, and the green velvet evening dress she wore for a Vanity Fair photo shoot with Mario Testino in 1997.
Eleri Lynn, curator of 'Diana: Her Fashion Story', said: ‘Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, who in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and designers.'
Whilst she lived at Kensington Palace, the Princess admired the changing floral displays in the historic Sunken Garden and would often stop to talk to the gardeners who care for it. The gardeners will dedicate the new planting in the garden to her, creating a temporary White Garden to complement the palace’s exhibition. The garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.
From the gates of Kensington Palace, that became flower-covered unofficial shrine to Diana in the days following her sudden death in 1997, to the extensive State rooms and gardens, the Palace is full of references to Royals who have lived there.
Visitors can learn about William and Mary in the Queen's State Apartments, experience the court of George I and II in the King's State Apartments and follow the life of Queen Victoria – who was born in the Palace - in the rooms most associated with her
The Palace has been a residence of the Royal Family since the 17th century, and is presently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.