On Thursday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh proudly re-opened Kensington Palace after a glamorous £12 million makeover to rediscover its "sleeping beauty".The dazzling renovation inluded a facelift for the resident statue of Queen Victoria, re-landscaping of ground's plush gardens, and a new lift to whizz visitors to all floors of the 17th century palace.
The new era also means that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be a step closer to moving into their dream family home.William and Kate currently live in a smaller residence on the estate, but are due to move into Apartment 1A, formerly Princess Margaret's abode, in 2013. The six-bedroom flat will become their permanent London residence, and their staff will follow them from their current base, St James's Palace. Kensington Palace is steeped in history and has been home to many other distinguished royals including Princess Diana, and before her, Queen Victoria.It was there, as an 18-year-old, that she found out she had become Queen from her governess, who had come equipped with smelling salts.
This rich pedigree, coupled with the glamour of the young royals, will have visitors flocking to the site.But the public won't be able to stumble upon Kate in her living room. Attractions will comprise a brand new education centre, the Victoria Revealed exhibition where they can watch footage of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and view outfits worn by the monarch, including her wedding dress. Princess Diana's regalia will also be on display.