March 21, 2012 - 19:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Kensington Palace, home to Queen Victoria and Princess Diana in the past and from next year to Prince William and his wife Catherine, reopens to the public after extensive renovation, AFP reported.
Fringed by manicured gardens, the red-brick palace in central London has borne witness to both the high politics and intimate personal lives of the British monarchy for more than 300 years.
Visitors - who officials hope will come in droves during a summer in which London hosts both the Olympic Games and celebrations for the queen’s Diamond Jubilee - can explore dozens of rooms in the spruced-up palace.
“When you come here, you meet four different centuries of the royal family,” chief curator Lucy Worsley told AFP, unveiling the results of the two-year, $19 million makeover.
Of course, the 407-year-old building is anything but brand new - but curators have used innovative methods, including light projections and ‘whispering’ curtains, to bring its rich history to life.
In contrast to the imposing splendour of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s main residence, the smaller Kensington Palace offers something resembling coziness to the British monarchy.
The company that manages the palace hopes to attract 380,000 visitors a year, compared to 280,000 before the renovation.