A new exhibition at Kensington Palace, which reopens 26 March, displays objects amassed during Queen Victoria’s life, from her silk baby shoes to her wedding dress.

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.