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Visitors to Kensington Palace expected to spike thanks to Kate

entertainment Updated: Jul 07, 2013 17:01 IST

As the Duchess of Cambridge is expected to give birth any day now, the arrival of a new heir and Kate’s steady and scandal-free popularity has become a boon for England’s tourism industry.

Kensington Palace is expected to draw particularly large numbers of visitors once the new family settles in to make it their permanent abode. After a £12 million (US$ 18 million) refurbishment of the building’s public spaces which was completed last year, and news of the royal couple’s decision to make the palace their home, Kensington Palace received a record 4,04,000 visitors in about a year — nearly double the numbers of the previous period, reports

Kensington palace has also been home to George II, Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret and William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales. William and Kate’s baby will call Kensington Palace Apartment 1A home. It is a huge wing with 20 rooms and a big private walled garden offering space. Officials are banking on the arrival of a royal baby and a new exhibit of dresses worn by the Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, to attract a record number of visitors this year.

Fashion Rules, which opened on Thursday, is a curated collection of dresses worn by the royal women, and also reflects the fashion trends spanning the 1950s to the 1980s. Entry is free with purchase of a palace ticket.