13 Amazing Facts About Kensington Palace

The south-front gate of Kensington Palace. Image: Wikipedia

Kensington Palace is one of the most recognizable royal residences. Home to kings and queens of the past, the palace still has a strong connection to the Royal Family with the number of princes and princesses still calling it home. From its humble beginnings as a Jacobean home, the palace is now celebrated for its rich history that never fails to awe visitors who step foot on its majestic rooms. If you are planning to visit Kensington Palace, here are the 13 facts you’ll find interesting to know about Kensington Palace.

Palace was once a Jacobean House

Kensington Palace from the south by Jan Kip. Image: Wikipedia. 

In 1605, a Jacobean house was built for businessman and politician Sir Walter Cope on the present site of Kensington Palace. It was eventually called Nottingham House.

William and Mary were the first sovereigns to live there

William and Mary by  Wallerant Vaillant, after Unknown artist, c1677.
Image: National Portrait Gallery

Queen Anne added the Orangery

The Kensington Palace Orangery. Image: Wikipedia

During Queen Anne’s reign, several new rooms were added and left her legacy in the improvement of the gardens where she spent some £26,000.

George I expanded the palace

King George I. Image: Wikipedia

The extensive rebuilding work was done under George I. He only had little use of the palace due to the renovations. 

George II was the last sovereign to reside there

King George II. Image: Wikipedia

King George II chose Kensington Palace as his primary residence until his untimely death in 1760.

A queen was born in the palace

Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. Image: Wikipedia
King George III’s son, Edward, Duke of Kent lived on two floors of rooms in the south-east corner of the palace. Here, her daughter, the future Queen Victoria was born.

A royal feud occurred, here, too

In the early 1830s, the Duchess of Kent extended her apartments at Kensington. King William IV was unimpressed. He publicly complained that this had been done 'not only without his consent, but contrary to his commands'.

Queen Victoria was informed of her accession as Queen at Kensington Palace

This painting by Henry Tanworth Wells shows Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession.

On June 20, 1837, Princess Victoria was awakened early in the morning of the news that she had just become the queen. She eventually moved to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Victoria saved the palace from destruction

The King's Gallery in the 1880s. Image: Cote de Texas.

Queen Victoria saved the palace from neglect and disrepair persuading Parliament to foot the bill of its restoration. In 1899, the State Apartments were opened to the public.

The London Museum once called Kensington Palace home

An early photograph of the front side of Kensington Palace.  Image: Cote de Texas.

With the help of Queen Mary, the palace’s state apartments temporarily accommodate the London Museum from 1911 until 1914.

It was… and still remains the Aunt’s Heap

Princess Louise's statue of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace. Image: Wikipedia.

During the 1920s and 1930s, members of the royal family lived in the palace, e number of royal relatives residing there during the 1920s and 1930s, Edward VIII called the palace "the aunt heap.

It survived World War II

Queen Victoria's restored room. Image: Cote de Texas.

The palace was severely damaged during the London Blitz in 1940, particularly the Queen's Apartments.

It was home to “Princess Diana”

Flowers and tributes left at Kensington Palace after the death of Princess Diana. Image: Wikipedia.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was  a resident of the palace from 1981 to 1997.

… and the adorable Cambridges

The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. Image: Wikipedia.

The palace is home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family since 2013.

Planning to spend a holiday near Kensington Palace? Check out some of the best hotels, inns, and B&Bs here


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