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Queen Victoria is often thought of as a solemn old lady who was unamused on a regular basis.

Once upon a time, however, she was a child princess, blithely bouncing about the gardens of Kensington Palace in west London with her pet spaniel. A new exhibition in the palace, Victoria Revealed, will put on display objects amassed during her life, spanning from her silk baby shoes to the black garments she wore as a grieving widow. At least she’d be pleased to see her childhood home looking sprightly following a £12m facelift, with new walking routes around state rooms that will have seen their fair share of royal soap operas in their time.

  • Kensington Palace reopens to the public on 26 March (admission £15).
  • Direct train services run to Euston from Manchester (from £35) and Birmingham (from £10).
  • Stay at the St John Hotel, an eccentric residence near Leicester Square (from £150)

This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.

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