From March 2010 until 2012, Kensington Palace has been transformed into the Enchanted Palace – a unique multisensory experience combining fashion, performance and spectacle.
Independent charity Historic Royal Palaces is undertaking a £12 million major project to transform the visitor experience at Kensington Palace by 2012. Whilst improvement works are being carried out, acclaimed UK theatre company WILDWORKS will cast a spell over the palace, creating a mysterious and atmospheric world for visitors to explore, and bringing the hidden stories of the historic royal residence dramatically to life.
In the sumptuous State Apartments, leading fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Aminaka Wilmont and illustrator/set designer Echo Morgan will each create spectacular installations in collaboration with WILDWORKS, taking inspiration from Kensington Palace and the princesses who once lived there - Mary, Anne, Caroline, Charlotte, Victoria, Margaret and Diana. These extraordinary contemporary designs will be displayed alongside historic items from the Royal Collection and Kensington Palace’s Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, together with two dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales and Princess Margaret.
Kensington Palace is a working Royal Residence and has a significant place in the history of London. The Palace was the favoured home of the Monarchy until the eighteenth century. It was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria.
In modern times Kensington Palace houses offices and apartments of some members of the Royal family. The Jacobean building was purchased from the Earl of Nottingham by William III in 1689 and was extended by Sir Christopher Wren. Rotten Row was a private road from the Palace to Hyde Park Corner. Kensington Palace was the former home of Princess Diana.
The Palace is a 10-15 minute walk from the High Street Kensington Underground Station.
Rosalind Bord, London
Added: Apr 2012
For anyone visiting Kensington Palace DONT. We felt ashamed that the exhibition ,in this wonderful area surrounded by a wealth of famouse buildings was 3rd rate.The staff were moaned at constantley about juvenile displays with paper/fabric cuttings used as props,dark rooms.Staff begged us COMPLAIN.
Name: Rosalind Bord
|Stu London visitor|
Member since: Jul 2011
We visited the 'Enchanted Palace' today (17th July 2011) What an abject waste of money! The staff obviously haven't read previous reviews here otherwise they would surely be better. The few rooms available to see were all pretty well in darkness in order to achieve 'enchantment'!! It doesn't work as one cannot see the beauty of the palace itself. I can't believe that even small girls will love this patched up, cheap, disjointed, uneducational exhibition. Earlier in the day we were offered our money back from a comedy club if we didn't laugh, if these people did the same I think they'd be bankrupt very quickly.. It took us all of 30 minutes to waste £25.00 of our hard earned money. Out of interest, their site doesn't have a review section, I wonder why!!
People have certain expectations of the historic sights of London; for example, if you visit Kensington Palace, you don't expect an art installation with infantilised history aimed at the Harry Potter generation - which is exactly what the Enchanted Palace offers. We went this weekend, and as two adults, didn't expect to be offered a pencil to write down the names of the seven Dancing Princesses in the Palace - we thought it was just a bit of the exhibition for kids, but no - it was the whole thing!
If the people on the ticket desk had told us that the exhibition was not the traditional presentation, we would never have wasted £13 each. I have no objection to what was portrayed, but whoever is running the Historic Royal Palaces needs to tell their staff to explain to visitors what is on offer at Kensington, to give them the option of not going in. We were in and out in half an hour; a complete waste of time and money.