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Decorating the palace... Diana's life in wallpaper

david kingstrom By david kingstrom | March 24, 2012 | United Kingdom

Iconic photos turned into sketches as part of royal residence's £12m restoration

She was the most photographed woman of her time – but this is a rather more off-the-wall way of remembering her life.

Sketches based on iconic images of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, have been turned into wallpaper inside the royal residence that was once her home.

The display is part of a £12million restoration of Kensington Palace in London.

Inside apartment 1A, which was once occupied by Princess Margaret and will be handed to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge next year, there is an exhibition of dresses worn by the late royal.

Called Diana: Glimpses Of A Modern Princess, it includes a black silk taffeta gown, worn on her first official engagement with the Prince of Wales on March 9, 1981, and a black silk shift evening dress by Versace, which she wore to the 1995 premiere of Apollo 13.

An ivory silk formal dinner dress by Catherine Walker, a fuchsia and purple silk chiffon sari dress also by Walker and worn on a tour of Thailand, and a black and white cocktail dress by Bellville Sassoon complete the set.

The exhibition has been designed by interior stylist Finola Inger, who employed fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven to turn some of the most instantly recognisable photographs of Diana into eye-catching colour sketches

These were then converted into wallpaper by the interiors firm Cole and Son, who have a royal warrant from the Queen and are renowned for printing authentic period wallpapers.

The paper has been used to line a hallway leading up to the room where the exhibition of Diana’s dresses is being held.

It is understood that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who currently live in a cottage in the palace grounds, have not yet seen the exhibition but are likely to be given a private viewing.

Exhibition curator Deirdre Murphy told the Mail yesterday that she hoped the wallpaper reflected the Princess in a ‘bold, new and fresh way’.

She added: ‘We didn’t want this exhibition to be museum-like. We hope that this depicts the Princess in a way that people have never seen her before.

‘It will offer our visitors a fresh perspective on one of the most photographed women in the world, who had a significant influence on British style and fashion.’

Following its restoration, Kensington Palace reopens to the public on Monday.

1.Shy young Lady: Diana wears a cute jumper on a country walk with Prince Charles in May 1981, shortly before their marriage.
2.Purple Princess: Shining in a fuchsia chiffon dress by Catherine Walker, Diana looks confident and glamorous non a tour of Thailand in February 1986.

3. Just married: Diana looks almost ghostly in this barely-there drawing of her wedding day on illustrator Julie Verhoeven's wallpaper.

4.Soulful eyes: A sultry Diana poses for top photographer Mario Testino in Vanity Fair magazine in 1997, not long before her tragic death.

5.Motherly love: The Princess of Wales cradles newborn William in June 1982, as they leave St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

6. Bashful in a bow: The Princess looks ethereal at a charity concert at the Victoria & Albert Museum in November 1981.

7. Demure in blue: The royal couple announce their engagement in February 1981, as she wears the ring that now belongs to the Duchess of Cambridge.

8. Stylish elegance: The princess wears a Victor Edelstein dress and pearls for a trip to Hamburg in November 1987.

9. Daring debut: Diana wore a low-cut black taffeta for her first public appearance with fiance Charles in at Goldsmiths' Hall in London.

10. Just exquisite: Diana in white lace and a tiara borrowed from the Queen at a fashion aid gala for Barnardo's in November 1985.







  • Tags:   palace Diana life wallpaper Iconic photo sketches royal residence restoration
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