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The independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces re-opens the doors of Kensington Palace to the public on 26 March 2012, after a £12 million project to restore and refurbish the palace and gardens, for the Diamond Jubilee year. Major work began in June 2010 and the palace closed completely in January 2012, to allow for final adjustments to take place. New landscaping has reconnected Kensington Palace to the surrounding park and restored historic views. The re-development works include a new access route into the palace, new education and community facilities, a cafe and a shop.
The palace opens with two major exhibitions: ‘Victoria Revealed’, which explores the life and reign of Queen Victoria, one of it most famous residents; and 'Secrets of the Royal Court at Kensington Palace', created by theatre-makers Coney, who bring to life the stories of the Kings and Queens who resided at the palace: William and Mary, Anne, George I and George II, each explored through multimedia installations in the State Apartments, to reveal court life in the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, a temporary exhibition of stunning dresses owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, is on display until September, 2012.
In our picture the front-of-house staff wear their new Jaeger uniforms. Cassone's royal correspondent, Rosalind Ormiston, was there and will be covering the opening in our April issue.