Kensington Palace London Guide

Kensington Palace London Guide

Kensington Palace in​ London is​ a​ working Royal residence. of​ great historical importance, Kensington Palace was the favorite residence of​ successive sovereigns until 1760. it​ was also the birthplace and childhood home of​ Queen Victoria. Today Kensington Palace accommodates the offices and private apartments of​ a​ number of​ members of​ the Royal Family. Although managed by Historic Royal Palaces, the Palace is​ furnished with items from the Royal Collection.

Today Kensington contains the offices and London residences of​ The Duke and Duchess of​ Gloucester, The Duke and Duchess of​ Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of​ Kent. Princess Margaret, Diana, Princess of​ Wales and Princess Alice, Duchess of​ Gloucester used to​ live in​ Kensington Palace and have their offices there.

Kensington Palace stands at​ the western end of​ Kensington Gardens and is​ perhaps the finest building in​ the Borough. Originally called Nottingham House, it​ passed into royal ownership in​ 1689 when it​ was acquired by William and Mary.

After William III's death in​ 1702 the palace became the residence of​ Queen Anne. Wren designed the Orangery for her and a​ 30-acre garden was laid out by Henry Wise. Further extensive alterations were carried out for George I and William Kent painted the elaborate trompe l'oeil ceilings and staircases. The last monarch to​ live at​ Kensington Palace was George II, whose consort, Caroline of​ Ansbach, influenced the development of​ Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. For her, Charles Bridgman created the Serpentine, the Basin and Grand Vista and the Broad Walk.

Early one morning in​ June 1837 Princess Victoria, who was occupying apartments in​ Kensington Palace, awoke to​ the news that she was Queen of​ England. She immediately moved to​ Buckingham Palace. Kensington Palace first opened to​ the public in​ 1912 with a​ display of​ relics and objects relating to​ the City of​ London. it​ attracted 13,000 visitors in​ just one day. The museum pieces now form part of​ the collection at​ the Museum of​ London. Visitors today can see the State Apartments, the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection that includes outfits from the 18th century to​ the present day, the Orangey and sunken gardens.

The palace was the London home of​ Diana, Princess of​ Wales and is​ still home to​ several other members of​ the Royal Family. The State Apartments and the Court Dress Collection are open to​ the public and highlights of​ a​ visit include the recently restored Kings Apartments and a​ magnificent collection of​ paintings. The Court Dress Collection includes a​ fabulous and very rare court mantua made sometime between 1750-53 and the 'exploded' gentleman's outfit - everything from underclothes to​ fine lace cuffs and all part of​ the elaborate costume worn to​ Court by an​ 18th century gentleman. The Orangey Cafe adjacent to​ the Palace serves light lunches and snacks throughout the year.

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