Kensington Palace

 

As home to British icons and press favourites The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate and Wills, Kensington Palace has become a must-visit attraction.

Though you won’t actually be standing inside their living room or peep around their bedroom door, you can visit the public half of the palace and discover the history of the other royal families who have taken residence inside those walls.

Though Kensington Palace is much smaller than Hampton Court, and a great lot less grand than Buckingham Palace, the building is still important.

Once you have your tickets, head into the vestibule, where you have a choice of exhibits to begin exploring. Before you disappear up a set of stairs, enjoy the portraits that celebrate the royal women, and George III, who were past residents.

Fashion Rules chronicles the fashions of modern royal women. The displays begin in the 1950s and end in 80s, eras that are already majorly iconic in the fashion industry. See the intricate dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales, and learn about the events and decisions that influenced each design.

Explore the Queen’s and King’s apartments in turn to see how each room would be set up for Queen Mary II in comparison to those rooms used by the Kings in the Georgian Court.

The Queen’s State Apartments are the oldest part of the building, which is apparent from the darker wood and the traditional monogrammed carvings. Original artworks and artefacts, or recreations where needed, give an accurate insight into how the lavish life would have been for a wealthy Queen.

Costumed actors will show you how each room would have been used, and can answer any questions you may have.

Victoria Revealed is an exhibition that narrates the long life Queen Victoria spent at Kensington Palace. The account spans everything, from the toys she played with as a child to the deep love she had for Prince Albert, right through to the mourning she experienced following his death.

Though the grounds are not as vast as other palaces, the sunken garden, hidden behind the green Cradle Walk, is no less tranquil. The gift shop and café is a great way to end your visit, or a short walk across the beautiful gardens to The Orangery restaurant is a great way to begin your evening.