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The People's fashionista

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Who can forget the LBD she wore the night Prince Charles admitted he’d been unfaithful? Or the velvet Catherine Walker dress she sported with a pearl necklace worn backwards? On the 20th anniversary of her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story gives us a chance to see some of those outfits again.Kensington Palace, London©TonyBaggett/thinkstock

The exhibition opens on 24 February at Kensington Palace and will trace the evolution of the Princess’s style, from her first tentative public appearances (remember the transparent skirt in the gardens of Young England Kindergarten?) to the outwardly confident woman she became. To complement the exhibition there are a number of lectures (alas, mostly already booked). The Palace garden will also be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by the Princess’s life.Baglioni Hotel, LondonIf you’re planning a visit, you’ll need an equally stylish hotel. Claridge’s was one of Princess Diana’s favourites – she even held her wedding reception there – but it’s a good old walk from Kensington Palace. So how about the Baglioni? It’s just a stone’s throw away from Princess Diana’s old home and also offers guests access to a private, hour-long tour of the palace with one of the 'Palace Explainers’.Suite, Baglioni Hotel, LondonNo doubt the Princess would have felt very at home at the glamorous Baglioni – which opened in 2004 –  though this is not your quintessential London five star. With its gold, silver and black colour scheme, giant mirrors and intricate chandeliers, it feels more like Rome than South Kensington. And that’s because it’s owned by Italian brand Baglioni Hotels which does indeed have a property in the Eternal City, as well as Milan, Venice, Forence and Punta Ala. There’s an Italian executive chef, Alberto Rossetti, who precides over an Italian restaurant, Brunello, and it definitely serves the best Melanzana alla parmigiana in town.Afternoon tea, Baglioni Hotel, LondonFrom the Baglioni you could do the seven-mile Princess Diana of Wales Memorial Walk, which meanders past lots of the buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life. On the other hand, you might prefer a cosy Champage afternoon tea for two at the hotel instead. Hmm. What would Diana have done?

Diana: Her Fashion Story opens 24 February. Entrance is included in the palace entrance admission, £16.50 (£15.40 online). See website for related events. One night’s b&b in a deluxe room at the Baglioni, plus two tickets to the morning tour of the palace, including the exhibition and the gardens, and Champagne afternoon tea for two, costs from £420.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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