Nice pad, but I bet Kate changes the wallpaper! As Kensington Palace opens to the public after a £12m makeover we take an exclusive tour of Kate and Will's new homeNot since the Windsor fire of 1992, has there been a royal makeover on this scale. Indeed, the last time a palace went through a facelift of this magnitude, it was courtesy of a German bomb.
In the case of Kensington Palace, however, this £12million transformation has not been prompted by any misfortune but by years of careful planning. Admittedly, there has been one unexpected, 11th-hour alteration to the designs.
But no one is complaining about the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to set up home here — because their presence in the private wing of the palace is only going to draw even more visitors through the doors on the public side.Palace of varieties: Mail writer Robert Hardman stands by the modern luminous lace piece - a light sculpture made of more than two miles of electroluminescent wire
A few days ago, the Queen came to Kensington to re-open what used to be the seat of royal power until the monarchy moved to Buckingham Palace. Before she cut the ribbon, she toured the rooms where Queen Victoria grew up and inspected the new displays which feature everything from Prince Albert’s tongue-scraper to a new range of Diana, Princess of Wales, wallpaper and a very creepy children’s birthday party (of which more later).
‘We’ve set out to awaken a sleeping beauty,’ announced Charles Mackay, the chairman of Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity which runs the place. He might equally have called it a sleeping giant. Because, after years in the heritage doldrums, KP is finally exploiting its true potential as one of the capital’s major tourist attractions.