Kensington Palace, London

Kensington Palace, London

This sight presents a unique opportunity to gain insight into the more personal and domestic facets of royal life. Unlike the imposing Buckingham Palace or the charming Hampton Court, Kensington Palace possesses a distinct character as a sort of royal family commune, with various close relatives of the Queen inhabiting spacious apartments within its private section. In 1689, Queen Mary and King William III acquired the existing modest mansion as a country retreat, and they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to transform it into a palace. Over the years, young royal families have chosen it as their residence. Princess Diana resided here with her sons following her divorce, while Prince Harry shared a cottage on the palace grounds with Meghan Markle before their marriage.

While the State Apartments are open to the public, the Queen's portion serve as the private quarters of Queen Mary II, who jointly ruled with her husband, William II. In contrast, the opulent King's State Apartments, originally constructed for George I, are a splendid ensemble of rooms where Georgian monarchs hosted courtiers, politicians, and foreign dignitaries. Particular highlights include the King's Staircase, adorned with a panoramic trompe-l'oeil painting, and the King's Gallery, featuring royal artworks framed by rich red damask walls, intricate gilding, and a splendid painted ceiling. An ongoing exhibition, "Victoria Revealed", delves into the personal life of Queen Victoria, who was born and raised here, whereas a temporary exhibition explores the portrayal of royal family life through photographs.

The palace's exterior is nearly as enchanting as its interior. Visitors can choose to picnic on one of the benches or indulge in a meal at the Baroque Orangery, which offers both lunch and an elegant Afternoon Tea. For a more casual dining experience, there are cafés located in the Italian Gardens and along the Broad Walk.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in London. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kensington Palace on Map

Sight Name: Kensington Palace
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

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