Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Dresses belonging to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana are to be exhibited at Kensington Palace.

The exhibition, entitled 'Fashion Rules: Dress from the collections of HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales' will open on July 4 to provide a "new take on the story of the monarchy in the late twentieth century" through a number of "rare and exquisite" dresses, photographs and films, which will show how the royal women have reflected and inspired fashion.

Cassie Davies-Strodder, curator of the exhibition, said: "This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to get up close to these wonderful dresses and be transported to the times in which they were worn.

"Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and Diana, Princess of Wales all have a special connection with Kensington Palace, making it the perfect location to celebrate these modern royal women in their fashion heyday."

Among the dresses going on display will be a Dior gown worn by the queen's late sister Margaret at her sibling's Silver Jubilee celebration, and a ballerina-length blue dance dress by Jacques Azagury which belonged to Diana - who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 - and has never been showcased in the UK before.

Historic Royal Palaces - who are running the exhibition - announced earlier this year they had bought two of Diana's dresses at auction, and it is hoped at least one of them will be on display.

Meanwhile, the queen's dresses will show how her style has evolved and how she makes reference to the countries she visits. These will include a strapless peach silk gown with a full skirt by Norman Hartnell she wore in the 1950s, and a 1961 dress with a narrower skirt by the same designer.