Published on February 25, 2014 | by Catherine Van de Stouwe


Royal style reigns supreme


Dresses from Fashion Rules exhibition

Fashion Rules celebrates the styles of Her Majesty, her late sister Princess Margaret and Lady Diana Spencer. [Richard Lea-Hair]

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace is a celebration of how three of the most famous Royals of the late 20th century have influenced fashion.

Navigating through the grand hallways of the Palace, the first hint of Fashion Rules hangs on the walls of the entrance room, made up of paintings and photographs of Royals, old and new, who have remained fashion icons.

In dimly-lit rooms that add to the magnificence of the jewelled dresses, this first room is a celebration of evening wear worn by Her Majesty the Queen in the ‘50s and ‘60s. You are first greeted by a gloriously embroidered gown which was worn by the Queen in 1963 on a Commonwealth visit; this cream silk satin gown is a presentation of pearl and diamanté needlework at its best.


Between the first and second main rooms are two connecting rooms that display select garments from The Queen in the ‘70s and her late sister, Princess Margaret, in the ‘50s. These rooms hold one of the highlights of the exhibition; a cream silk satin evening gown with blue and green beaded embroidery worn by Princess Margaret, in 1951, to a film premiere. This halter-neck gown is a worthy representation of her often risqué behaviour.

The second main room is filled with favourites of Princess Margaret, including day dresses, evening gowns and a fur coat by Dior from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Separated from the main display is a beautifully embroidered cream kaftan with a matching jewelled turban worn by her in Mustique, 1976.

The final room is dedicated to the ‘People’s Princess’, Lady Diana Spencer. The tulle and wide-shouldered dresses are the epitome of ‘80s fashion. The focus of this room is a midnight blue, strapless evening gown with a silk tulle fishtail skirt, decorated with diamanté stars.


Each room is lined with front pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar’s of the decades, as well as information about design and fashion of the times. The main rooms have five-minute film loops on the individual and their dress.

With four other exhibitions on inside the Palace and the Gardens soon to be in full-bloom, every viewer will be entertained and astounded by the glamorous, high-end fashion of British Royals.

Fashion Rules is on until Summer 2015
Open daily from 10am – 5pm until Feb 28, then 10am – 6pm
Prices: Adult £16.50, concession £13.75
Exhibition tickets include entry to Kensington Palace.

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