Purple reign: Royal Highness chooses mauve suit for official reopening of Kensington Palace following 12m renovation
Latest in a long string of brightly coloured outfits worn by the monarch
21:54 GMT, 15 March 2012
The Queen today continued her run of bright and beautiful outfits as she chose a vibrant mauve suit for the official opening of Kensington Palace after an extensive renovation project.
She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh for a tour of the palace buildings following a 12 million transformation which will be revealed to the public on March 26.
The royal couple looked at the new Victoria Revealed exhibition, where they watched footage of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and viewed displays of outfits worn by the former monarch, including her wedding dress.
Wearing a mauve tweed coat, the Queen was joined by Prince Philip for a tour of the newly renovated Kensington Palace today
The royal two received a tour of
the palace, where they inspected the results of a
The Queen later met people involved with the charity Age UK and pupils from St Mary Abbots School, in Kensington, as they produced bunting in the palace's new education centre for the Queen's own forthcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, who is a trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces board, was among the guests involved in the restoration project who welcomed the Queen to the new-look palace.
Charles Mackay, chairman of the Historic Royal Palaces board, said: 'We have set out to awake the sleeping beauty of Kensington Palace.
'Our objective was to open up the palace to make everyone feel welcome.
'It has been the most ambitious and complex project we have ever undertaken.'
The Queen, wearing a mauve tweed coat
and skirt, was heard voicing surprise at the number of horses in the
footage of her ancestor's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
After the tour, she was handed flowers by five-year-old Alicia Frederick, from Kensington.
Crowds had gathered in the sunshine to wave to the Queen as she left the palace.
The restoration project, which has
been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been completed to
coincide with this year's Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen cut a ribbon to mark the official reopening of the palace, which will be open to the public from March 26
The royal party saw the renovation work that has taken place to both the gardens and buildings, then met staff and volunteers who will be hosting guests at the palace from the end of the month onwards
A statue of Queen Victoria has been
given a facelift – with her shrapnel-damaged nose replaced for the
second time – and the gardens have been re-landscaped to create a grand
entrance from the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens.
A new lift will provide level access to all floors of the palace and children will now receive free admission.
The restoration work has also
included the creation of education and community facilities, with
dedicated spaces for local community groups.
Anne Smith, events co-ordinator for
Age UK in Chelsea and Kensington, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh came and
spoke to us as we were making bunting. He told the Queen that we were in
our second childhood.'
Majestic: Kensington Palace, pictured with a statue of William III of Orange in the foreground, has been home to many royals over the years – and is currently the London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The palace has been home to some of
the country's most famous royals, including George II, Queen Victoria,
Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
plan to make Princess Margaret's former apartment in the palace their
permanent London residence.
Originally built in 1605 as a private
country house, it was purchased in 1689 by King William III and Queen
Mary II, eager to escape Whitehall.
It is also home to the Royal
Ceremonial Dress Collection – 10,000 items worn by royalty and courtiers
from the 17th century to the present day, including clothing worn by
George III, Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret, the Queen, and Princess
A series of new exhibitions, including
Victoria Revealed and a special exhibition of some of Diana's dresses,
will be open to the public from March 26.
REVEALED: THE RAINBOW QUEEN'S COLOURFUL CLOSET
Resplendent in pink: The Queen arrives for the
annual Commonwealth Observance at Westminster Abbey accompanied by the
Duke of Edinburgh, and is also pictured leaving the service
The Queen in duck egg blue for a visit to Fortnum & Mason last month, and right, Write caption here
In a hot pink coat for a trip in sunny Australia, and right, in pale blue again for a trip to London's Guild Hall
Bright and breezy in blue on a visit to Wales, left, and right, in a palette of blues and purples for a garden party at Buckingham Palace