DRESS TO IMPRESS
Twenty years after her death, Diana, Princess of Wales, is being celebrated in a temporary exhibition in her former London home, says Sarah Riches
Princess Diana’s iconic outfits are unveiled at Kensington Palace
Diana: Her Fashion Story is a fitting tribute to the ‘people’s princess’, charting Diana’s remarkable life through fashion. The exhibition at Kensington Palace features original sketches by the princess’ favourite designers while tracing her style from the demure outfits she wore for her early public appearances to her glossy 1980s evening gowns and trend-setting 1990s
Catherine Walker suits. Highlights include the pink Emanuel blouse she wore for her engagement portrait in 1981 and the blue velvet Victor Edelstein gown she dazzled in while dancing with John Travolta at the White House. Meanwhile, a blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn by Diana on an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, will go on display in public for the first time after Historic Royal Palaces – the charity responsible for Kensington Palace – rediscovered it at an auction. Curator Eleri Lynn says: ‘Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world – every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. Our exhibition explores a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing and, in the process, put the spotlight on the British fashion industry. We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented.’ The exhibition will also feature a temporary White Garden brimming with flowers inspired by the princess – so expect forget-me-nots, Cosmos daisies, Gaura and ornamental grasses.
This 17th-century building was designed by Inigo Jones for James I, with an exquisite painted ceiling by baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. Daily 10am-1pm, but check before visiting. Adult £6; child free. www.hrp.org.uk. Whitehall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. E8. Station: Westminster.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Zoo with keeper experiences, a play area and a petting farm with donkeys, chinchillas and goats. Daily 10am-4.30pm. Adult £8.95; child £6.95. www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk. Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, SW11 4NJ. T: 020-7924 5826. Off map. Station: Battersea Park.
The British Library
The world’s largest library also boasts temporary exhibitions and a great permanent collection. Check for opening times. Admission free; charges for tours, some exhibitions and events. www.bl.uk. 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB. T: 0330-333 1144. C7. Station: King’s Cross.
The London residence and principal workplace of the monarchy has 775 rooms. It’s closed to the public (except in summer). www.royalcollection.org.uk. Buckingham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Station: Victoria/Green Park.
Changing the Guard
At 11am every Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun, watch the Changing of the Queen’s Guard on the Palace’s forecourt. There is no ceremony in very wet weather. www.royal.gov.uk. Buckingham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Station: Victoria.
Chelsea Physic Garden
London’s oldest botanic garden, founded in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden beside the River Thames. Admire 5,000 species of plants. Free daily tours. Mon-Fri 11am-3pm. www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk. 66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS. T: 020-7352 5646. Off map. Station: Sloane Square.
Chiswick House & Gardens Trust
See Old Masters on display in this manor.
From 3 Mar: Camellia Show 2017. Admire 33 varieties of camellias. Gardens daily 7am-dusk; house Sun-Wed 10am- 5pm; conservatory daily 10am-4pm. House adult £6.70; child £4. www.chgt. org.uk. Chiswick House & Gardens, W4 2RP. T: 020- 8995 0508. Off map. Station: Chiswick Park.
This 19th-century ship is the world’s last surviving tea clipper. 4-5 Mar: Women Making Waves. See figureheads of trailblazing women. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £12.15; child £6.30. Joint tickets with Royal Observatory available. www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark. Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT. T: 020-8312 6608. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark/Greenwich.
Dr Johnson’s House
Writer Dr Samuel Johnson compiled his first English dictionary, first published in 1755, in this period home. Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. Adult £6; child £2.50. www.drjohnsonshouse.org. 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE. T: 020-7353 3745. D9. Station: Temple.
Handel & Hendrix in London
The former homes of Anglo-German composer George Frideric Handel and American guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Mon-Sat 11pm-6pm; Sun noon-6pm. Adult £10; child £5. www.handelhouse.org. 25 Brook St, W1K 4HB. T: 020-7495 1685. D6. Station: Bond Street.
Europe’s only surviving World War II cruiser. Daily 10am-6pm. Adult £14.50; child £7.25. www.iwm. org.uk. The Queen’s Walk, off Tooley St, SE1 2JH. T: 020-7940 6300. E11. Station: London Bridge.
Houses of Parliament
The site of British Parliament since 1265. Watch debates for free when the Houses are in session. Guided and audio tours every Sat. Audio tour adult £18.50; child £7.50 (first child free). Guided tour adult £25.50; child £11. www.parliament.uk/visit. Palace of Westminster, Parliament Square, SW1A 0AA. T: 020-7219 4114. F8. Station: Westminster.
The Jewel Tower
Built around 1365 to house Edward III’s treasures. Check for prices and times. www.english-heritage.org.uk. Abingdon St, SW1P 3JX. T: 020-7222 2219. F8. Station: Westminster.
This royal residence sits in Kensington Gardens and was Princess Diana’s last home (p. 22). Daily, check for times. Adult £17; child free. www.hrp. org.uk. Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX. T: 0844482 7777. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington/Queensway.
Kids try careers such as radio presenting. Daily from 10am, call for closing times. Adult from £9.50; child from £11.50. www.london.kidzania.com. Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, W12 7GA. T: 0330-131 3333. Off map. Station: Shepherd’s Bush.
The London Bridge Experience & Tombs
An exciting history lesson on the spooky past of the 1,700-year-old London Bridge site. Actors bring this spine-tingling scary attraction to life. Tickets also include admission to the London Tombs, which are located under the bridge in a former plague pit. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9.30am- 6pm. Adult £26.95; child £21.45. www.the londonbridgeexperience.com. 2- 4 Tooley St, SE1 2SY. T: 020-7403 6333. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The London Dungeon
This uniquely thrilling attraction will whisk you back to the capital’s most perilous past. Not for small children or the faint-hearted! Check for times and prices. www.thedungeons.com. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-423 2240. F8. Station: Waterloo/Embankment.
Coca-Cola London Eye
This icon is one of the world’s largest observation wheels. Interactive screens in each pod give an insight into the landmarks on view (p. 27). Daily 11am- 6pm. Adult £24.95; child £19.95. www.londoneye.com. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-781 3000. F8. Station: Waterloo.
ZSL London Zoo
Immerse yourself in the animal kingdom at the world’s oldest scientific zoo. 26 Mar: ZSL London Zoo Stampede. A 5km or 10km fundraiser (p. 10 & p. 24). Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £27.04; child £20. www.zsl.org. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY. T: 020-7722 3333. C6. Station: Camden Town.
See life-sized waxworks, from the Queen to Adele (p. 27). Joint tickets with the London Aquarium, London Dungeon, London Eye and Shrek’s Adventure! available. Mon-Fri 10am-4pm; Sat-Sun 9am-5pm. Adult £35; child £30. www.madametussauds.com/london. Marylebone Rd, NW1 5LR. T: 0871-894 3000. C6. Station: Baker Street.
Climb this column for views. Daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Adult £4; child £2. Joint tickets with the Tower Bridge Exhibition available. www.themonument.org.uk. The Monument, Monument St, EC3R 6BD. T: 0207626 2717. E10. Station: Monument.
Star Wars Identities. See items from the film franchise. Mon-Sat 10am- 6pm. Tickets £15-£25. www.theo2.co.uk. Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. T: 020-8463 2000. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Formerly the site of the London 2012 Olympics, this includes the ArcelorMittal Orbit (p. 12). Check website for sporting events. Park open 24 hours daily. Admission free. www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST. T: 0800-072 2110. Off map. Station: Stratford.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
This curiosity-filled museum with more than 700 artefacts is a global hit. Explore oddities from a shrunken head to the world’s tallest man. Daily 10am-midnight. Adult £27.95; child £20.95. www.ripleyslondon.com. 1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA. T: 020-3238 0022. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Better known as Kew Gardens, this World Heritage Site contains plants from across the globe. To 2 Mar: Orchid Lates. On Tue and Thur, see orchids in the evening. To 12 Mar: International Garden Photographer of the Year. Gardens to 25 Mar daily 10am-5.30pm, from 26 Mar check. Adult £9; child £3.50; charges for special exhibitions. www. kew.org. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB. T: 020- 8332 5655. Off map. Station: Kew Gardens.
This royal retreat in the grounds of Kew Gardens was home to King George III. Don’t miss the Royal Kitchens. Admission free with Kew Garden tickets. www.hrp.org.uk. Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AB. T: 0844-482 7777. Off map. Station: Kew Gardens.
The Royal Mews
Built by John Nash in 1825, this beautiful part of Buckingham Palace houses the Queen’s vehicles and horses. To 25 Mar Mon-Sat 10am-4pm. From 26 Mar daily 10am-5pm. Adult £9.30; child £5.50. www.royalcollection.org.uk. Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 1QH. T: 0303-123 7302. F6. Station: Victoria.
The Royal Observatory
The home of Greenwich Mean Time and London’s only planetarium. Daily planetarium shows that explore the moon, constellations, planets and space objects. Observatory and Meridian Line daily 10am-5pm. Adult £9.50; child £5. www.rmg.co.uk. Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ. T: 020-8858 4422. Off map. Station: Greenwich.
Sea Life London Aquarium
One of Europe’s largest aquariums with 500 species of global marine life. Please check for times and prices. Joint tickets with London Eye, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and Shrek’s Adventure! www.sealife.co.uk/london. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871663 1678. F8. Station: Westminster/ Waterloo.
Ride the magical 4D ‘DreamWorks Tours’ bus to step into live actor fairytale-themed show based on the films. Joint tickets with London Eye, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life London Aquarium available. Please check for times. Adult £27.50; child £22. www.shreksadventure.com. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-221 2837. Station: Waterloo.
St James’s Palace
One of London’s oldest palaces, constructed in the 14th century. Palace and house closed to the public. www.royal.gov.uk. Marlborough Rd, SW1A 1BS. E7. Station: St James’s Park.
Landmark Palladian church with tours, a brass-rubbing centre and live classical music (some free). Holy Communion given daily and classical music performed weekly by candlelight. Please check for opening times. Admission free; brass rubbing from £4.50. www.stmartin-in-thefields.org. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ. T: 0207766 1100. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old cathedral has stunning mosaics. Climb up the dome to the Whispering Gallery and a further 271 steps to the Golden Gallery for a classic London panorama. Mon-Sat 8.30am- 4.30pm. Adult £18; child £8. www.stpauls.co.uk. St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD. T: 020-7246 8350. D9/10. Station: St Paul’s.
18 Stafford Terrace
This house gives an insight into the personal lives of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne. A highlight is a costumed actor-led tour, on which you’ll meet Mrs Sambourne or her parlour maid Mrs Reffell. Wed, Sat-Sun 11am-12.15pm & 2pm-5.30pm. Adult from £7; child from £5. www.rbkc.gov.uk. 18 Stafford Terrace, W8 7BH. T: 020-7602 3316. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington.
Tower Bridge Exhibition
This bridge (p. 12), designed in 1884, is one of London’s most famous landmarks (not to be confused with its much older neighbour, London Bridge). Joint tickets with The Monument available. Daily 9.30am-5pm. Adult £9; child £3.90. www.towerbridge.org.uk. Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP. T: 020-7403 3761. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
Tower of London
This landmark is the home of the Crown Jewels. Book ahead online to attend the nightly Ceremony of the Keys (tickets are free; p. 12 & p. 22). Tue-Sat 9am-5.30pm; Sun-Mon 10am-5.30pm. Check for prices. www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london. Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. T: 0844-482 7799. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
This venue is home to rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia at the Hard Rock Cafe’s museum. Daily 11.30am-10.30pm. Admission free. www.hardrock.com. Hard Rock Cafe London, 150 Old Park Lane, W1K 1QZ. T: 020-7514 1700. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
The View from The Shard
Ascend the tallest building in Western Europe (p. 10). If you pre-book you can also do yoga on Saturdays (£45). It also hosts silent discos every Saturday 10pm. To 25 Mar Sun-Wed 10am-7pm; Thur-Sat 10am-10pm. From 26 Mar daily 10am-10pm. Advance adult £25.95, child £19.95; on the day adult £30.95, child £24.95. www.theviewfromtheshard.com. 32 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG. T: 0844-499 7111. E10. Station: London Bridge.
Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Explore behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films. From 31 Mar: Forbidden Forest. Go deep into the forest. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk. Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LS. T: 0845- 084 0900. Off map. Station: Euston to Watford Junction, then shuttle bus.
Climb this magnificent arch for views over the Royal Parks. Joint tickets available with Apsley House. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £4.70; child £2.80. www.english-heritage.org.uk. Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7JZ. T: 020-7930 2726. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
This abbey is the crowning and burial site of most English monarchs. Mon-Sat, please check for times. Adult £20; child £9. www.westminster-abbey.org. 20 Dean’s Yard, SW1P 3PA. T: 020-7222 5152. F7. Station: Westminster/St James’s Park.
This image: The Emanuel blouse worn by Diana for her engagement portrait Below: Diana, Princess of Wales