11 April 2018
Updated 30 July. Following government guidance, Kensington Palace is now open Wednesday-Sunday. Read our visit information
It was an image that captured the world’s attention like no other, and one which influenced not just public perception but international policy as well. Now, for the first time, the Halo Trust branded protective vest worn by Diana, Princess of Wales on her landmark 1997 visit to Angola is to go on display at Kensington Palace, her former home.
From 26 April, the flak vest, simple denim shirt and Armani chinos selected for her high-profile visit to the landmine fields will form the centerpiece of the palace’s sell-out Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition tracing the evolution of the Princess’s style, and will be accompanied by a very special line up of some of her most iconic fashion moments, including a number of items on loan from TRH The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
From the pink Bellville Sassoon suit worn to board the train for her honeymoon to a sumptuous Victor Edelstein evening gown worn for an official portrait by Terence Donovan – which goes on public display for the first time - these new additions chart the ever-changing requirements of the Princess’s wardrobe, and illustrate how she used the language of clothing to not only connect with and inspire people, but also focus media attention on the causes she cared so passionately about.
Among a collection of never-before-seen items joining the exhibition will be a striking floor length gown by Yuki, designed for the Prince and Princess of Wales’s visit to Japan, and a tartan day dress by Caroline Charles, worn to the 1982 Braemar Games in the Scottish Highlands. This important example of Diana’s early wardrobe has recently been acquired by Historic Royal Palaces, and joins the charity’s Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, a treasure trove of over 10,000 items of royal and court dress.
Examples of the glamorous gowns created for Diana’s public engagements – including a stunning purple Versace evening dress worn to a Chicago fundraising gala in aid of cancer charities, which goes on display at Kensington Palace for the first time - will shine a light on how the Princess considered the specific requirements of each engagement when working with her favoured designers. From the creations of David and Elizabeth Emanuel which epitomized the Princess’s early image to the streamlined elegance of Catherine Walker and her love of the work of Gianni Versace, the exhibition not only charts the impact of Diana’s unique public role on her wardrobe, but also her impact on British and global fashion.
Eleri Lynn, exhibition curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said,
‘Diana, Princess of Wales was one of the most photographed women in the world, and it’s no coincidence that so many of her outfits are now among the most easily recognisable in fashion history. Through Diana: Her Fashion Story we explore the evolution of a young woman who had to first learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, then master the art of creating her own signature style. Following the exhibition’s incredible success in 2017, we’re delighted that this year visitors to Kensington Palace will have the chance to see yet more of the Princess’s show-stopping wardrobe for themselves.’
Opened in February 2017, Diana: Her Fashion Story brings together an extraordinary collection of 28 garments, from glamorous and glittering evening gowns to examples of Diana’s working wardrobe in the 1990s. After a sellout opening year, this special exhibition continues throughout 2018 at Kensington Palace, the Princess’s home for 15 years.
Notes to Editors
For further information and images please contact Adam Budhram in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: email@example.com or telephone: 0203 166 6307.
The Kensington Palace display is generously sponsored by The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Tickets (online prices):
Peak: Adult: £19.50 / Concession: £15.50 / Child: £9.70 / Family: £48.80
Off-peak: Adult: £16.00 / Concession: £12.70 / Child: £8.00 / Family £40.60
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk
About The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M·A·C, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, Tom Ford, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, By Kilian, BECCA and Too Faced.