A majestic home
Kensington Palace has been one of the main residences of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. This extravagant palace is the official home of Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Harry and other close relations of Queen Elizabeth II.
While the private living quarters and offices are off limits to the public, the luxurious State Rooms are open to visitors, displaying magnificent chambers along with some fascinating royal memorabilia. Visitors can explore the beautiful Queen’s State Apartments which were designed for Queen Mary II, who ruled jointly with her husband William of Orange in the 1600s. These rooms have their own staircase, and include the lavish Bedroom, Gallery, Closet and Dining Room of the Queen.
A regal museum
The King’s Apartments are also open and here you will find the more grand entertainment and reception rooms. The Privy Chamber is decorated with a gorgeous 1723 wall painting by William Kent and displays some splendid tapestries. Among the other rooms on show are the sumptuously regal Cupola Room, the Presence Chamber, the King’s Drawing Room, and the King’s Gallery which is the largest room in the Palace. Within these rooms are many priceless works of art, including sculpture, tapestries and paintings.
William Kent also lent his artistic skill to the grandiose King’s Staircase which leads to the apartments, painting scenes of court life all over the walls. In the Palace Gardens visitors are treated to such visual delights as the stunning Sunken Garden, a classically inspired space decorated with a large pond and flowerbeds, and the arched Cradle Walk that surrounds it, in addition to the enormous Formal Gardens with a boating lake and orangery. A trip to Kensington Palace has loads to offer anyone interested in history, art or royalty and is a great day out for all ages.