Princess Diana’s former home to open as wedding venue

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Brides dreaming of a fairytale can now get married like a princess after Kensington Palace opened its doors to commoner couples.

The former home of Princess Diana has launched as a wedding venue, offering brides and grooms use of its Orangery, one of the most beautiful examples in the world.

According to the Kensington Palace website, the setting has been licensed for civil wedding and partnership ceremonies, offering “an unforgettable atmosphere”.

Queen Anne had the Orangery designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and built in 1704 as a greenhouse for orange trees, doubling as a venue for balls and celebrations.

Princess Diana’s former home to open as wedding venue
Princess Diana’s former home to open as wedding venue

The “palatial interior” accommodates 120 for dinner and dancing or 300 for a standing reception.

In summer festivities spill on to the Portland stone terrace with fireworks and amplified music.

Prices start at £12,300 excluding tax and catering. Kensington Palace was built as a Jacobean mansion belonging to the Earl of Nottingham.

Princess Diana’s former home to open as wedding venue
Princess Diana’s former home to open as wedding venue

It was bought by William III (William of Orange) and his wife Queen Mary II in 1689 as an alternative to Whitehall Palace because the asthmatic King needed “good air”. It was improved by Sir Christopher Wren.

The Orangery came later and was modified by Sir John Vanbrugh.

Five monarchs lived at Kensington Palace, the last being George II although Queen Victoria was born there in 1819.

The apartments are the London residences of the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge, Gloucester and Kent, Prince Harry and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.