What to see at Kensington Palace?
Table of Content
Located in the heart of the rich Kensington district, the Kensington Palace was the residence of the most famous kings and queens in the history of Great Britain: Anne, George I, George II - but also Queen Victoria.
Part of the palace is now open to the public.
The history of Kensington Palace
In 1689, the Kensington Palace was the country home of Queen Mary II and her husband King William III. It was then renovated and transformed into a palace by the very famous architect Sir Christopher Wren.
Many kings and queens have subsequently made the palace as well: Princess Victoria, born in May 1819 in Kensington Palace - in the apartments of the Duke and Duchess of Kent - lived there until upon his accession to the throne in 1837, at the age of 18. She then moved to Buckingham Palace, which later became the main residence of British rulers in London.
It was also the residence of Prince Charles and Princess Diana until their divorce after which only Lady D remained there.
At the entrance of the palace is a statue bearing the effigy of Queen Victoria.
Current residents of the palace
Today, Kensington Palace is the residence of several members of the Royal Family:
- Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their 3 children (Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis).
- Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and granddaughter of the Queen Elizabeth II.
Visit Kensington Palace
Audio guides in multiple language are available at the reception desk of the palace and provide detailed comments and information on the many rooms visited:
- The Queen's State Apartments: private apartments created for Queen Mary II and her husband during the 17th century.
- The King’s Staircase: a sumptuous staircase leading to the King's Apartments.
- The Cupola Room: one of the most magnificent rooms in the palace, in which Princess Victoria was baptised.
- The permanent exhibition The Fashion Rules: a presentation of the most beautiful dresses worn by the queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana.
- The temporary exhibition Victoria Revealed : the life and reign of Queen Victoria through the rooms where she once lived with her husband Prince Albert and their children.
- The Kensington Gardens: originally, Queen Anne had a greenhouse built - in 1704 - to protect her citrus trees severe frosts in the winter months.
Guided tours adapted to people with reduced mobility, visually impaired, blind, deaf or hard of hearing are also offered.
Unlike Buckingham Palace, the visit is free and photos and videos are allowed.
Have tea at Kensington Palace
The old orangery has been partly transformed into a restaurant where it is possible to have breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea with a selection of the best teas in London - accompanied by famous English pastries : scones.
The Kensington Palace has a souvenir shop accessible for free (excluding visit to the palace) and offering quality products on the theme of the British monarchy and more generally of London: dishes, jewellery, clothes, books, etc.
Kensington Palace Fares
The ticket price includes a visit to the rooms open to the public in Kensington Palace - as well as access to the permanent and temporary exhibitions:
- Adult: £17
- Child (under 16): free
- Student, senior and other special rates (60+): £15
Entry is free with the London Pass.
To benefit from the best prices, book your tickets in advance on the official website of the tourist office of Great Britain.
Kensington Palace opening hours
The Kensington Palace is open all year round:
- From March to October:
- Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- From November to February:
- Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The palace is closed on December 24, 25 and 26.
How to get to Kensington Palace?
The Kensington Palace is located in Kensington Gardens at W8 4PX, London.
To get there, 2 options :
- Tube : District and Circle lines, High Street Kensington stop or Central line, Lancaster Gate stops or Queensway.
- Bus : lines 9, 10, 49, 52, 70, 94, 148, 390 and 452.
Close to Kensington Palace
Take advantage of your visit to Kensington Palace to visit:
- Holland Park
- Hyde Park
- Kensington Gardens
- Leighton House Museum
- Science Museum
- Royal Albert Hall