Kensington Palace

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Kensington Palace is steeped in history and its central London location makes it one of the most visited palaces in the country with hundreds of thousands of tourists flocking there every year to try and catch a glimpse of one of the royals. Over the years, ever since the 17th century, Kensington Palace has not only acted as the permanent residence for certain well-known royals, but also as a refuge. Now the palace is home to the world’s favourite royals the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, more commonly known as Kate and Wills and not to forget baby George and Lupo their beloved pooch.  Built in the early 17th century, this exquisite palace was first referred to as Nottingham House. This is one of London’s most beautiful and impressive palaces. A haven in central London, Kensington Palace is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and is home to the world renowned Orangery.

Photo by Lee Penney
Photo by Lee Penney

Kensington Palace Fun Facts

Kensington Palace isn’t given as much credit as it deserves, however, its history is rich. Queen Victoria, England’s longest reigning monarch spent her entire childhood within the compounds of the palace. It’s easy to imagine the younger Victoria as a rambunctious rebellious child running around trying to test the patience of palace staff as she desperately dreamt of life outside her secluded surroundings.

King George II was a great fan of the great German composer Handel and his obsession with his music led him to personally invite him to the palace to perform. Handel accepted graciously and as a result of the King’s admiration for the musician, Handel was gifted with honorary British citizenship despite never having lived in the UK before.

The palace was home to many great original masterpieces, but perhaps the most curious find was an original sketch book belonging to Leonardo da Vinci in 1778. No one is quite sure how it found its way to the palace and it was later sent to and stored in Windsor Castle.

Not only did the royals entertain the rich and famous from around the globe, but some royals were also known for their humanitarian acts of kindness. Princess Louise, for example invited those injured from the Great War to recuperate in her very own private apartments during war time.

The History of Royal Fashion

It’s common knowledge that some of the royal women have been leading icons in the fashion world. Now Kate has taken the lead, but the long line of royal women before her have also left their mark in fashion history. For everyone interested in high fashion, the stunning exhibition of royal dresses over the decades is not to be missed including dresses from the Queen herself, her fashion forward sister Princess Margaret and not to forget the people’s princess, Princess Diana.

Make use of your London pass and gain entry into the fashion exhibition for free.

An Insight into the Life of Queen Victoria

You’ll be able to discover the reality of what it was like to be a young royal in the spotlight in the past when visiting the great exhibition dedicated to England’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Victoria. You’ll understand that life as a royal is not all glitz and privilege and you’ll discover how lonely Victoria actually was as a child. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know her well through her personal and candid diary excerpts and at the same time admire her extensive wardrobe. Use your London pass to learn more about the “real” Queen Victoria for free.

The Orangery

Imagine sitting in a quaint English garden drinking high tea with England’s gentry. Constructed in the early 18th century, this is by far the most extravagant area of Kensington Palace. With stunning pure ivory walls with Roman pillars, this is the perfect place to relax and take in the quintessential English garden. Take a walk through the gardens, breathe in the sweet scents and admire the beautiful alcoves.

Getting There

Centrally located, Kensington Palace is easy to get to via the District and Circle lines.

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