Peak inside royal wardrobes at Kensington Palace

Silver Jubilee 1977 dress, designed by Hardy Amies. Credit: Historic Royal Palaces/Courtesy of Lord Linley & Lady Sarah Chatto

A new exhibit opens today at Kensington Palace, which lets you see dresses worn by some of our favourite members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana.

Silver Jubilee 1977 dress, designed by Hardy Amies. Credit: Historic Royal Palaces/Courtesy of Lord Linley & Lady Sarah Chatto
Silver Jubilee 1977 dress, designed by Hardy Amies. Credit: Historic Royal Palaces/Courtesy of Lord Linley & Lady Sarah Chatto

Ever wondered how members of the Royal Family decide what to wear at official occasions? We’ll give you a clue: little is left to chance.

Fashion Rules: Restyled at Kensington Palace is a reworking of the popular Fashion Rules exhibition and promises to take visitors even further into the wardrobes of HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana – from the ‘New Look’ glamour of Princess Margaret in the 1950s when her style was so influential that one magazine declared: “What she wears is news”, to the glamour of the Queen in the 1970s and the dramatic but no less stylish outfits worn by Princess Diana in the 1990s.

The exhibition will explore how each of the women navigated the fashion rules dictated by their royal duties, while introducing their own spins on fashions and setting new trends in the process.

Many of the dresses have been selected from a collection that incorporates thousands of pieces worn by members of the Royal Family throughout history, including a hunting jacket worn by King Charles I, which are kept in temperature controlled conditions behind the scenes at Kensington Palace, although some come from private collections.

Included in this exhibition is the beaded dress that the Queen chose to wear in the 1977 Silver Jubilee photograph (above) that was used on numerous souvenir articles before being appropriated by the Sex Pistols on the cover of God Save the Queen and by Andy Warhol for his series of screen prints Reigning Queens in 1985.

The exhibition also includes fascinating illustrations that show the design process between couturiers and the royal ladies in question, proving that every outfit was carefully planned.

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