We’ve seen a lot of Kensington Palace this week, home to the new Prince George, but did you know you can actually visit Kensington Palace.
For years I knew it as the home of Princess Diana, and I would walk past wondering what it would be like to live there but didn’t actually realise you go and visit and explore inside.
It makes for a great day out.
What people don’t realise is its quite a large complex and the royals residences are actually at the back and are completely private (and secure) the main house at the front and the gardens are open to the public.
Its been home to many former monarchs (including two King Georges). Most famously it was the home of Queen Victoria. It was here she grew up, met her future love, Prince Albert, and became Queen at the young age of 18.
She is one of our most famous and long ruling queens (63 years – Queen Elizabeth is not far behind her with 60 years) and the beautiful exhibition inside the Palace gives us a glimpse into her difficult childhood, her strained relationship with her mother, and her isolation.
You can stand on the stairs at the spot she first laid eyes on the handsome young German prince. You can also view her wedding dress, which highlights how tiny the young queen was, and view the intimate letters she wrote to Albert.
As well as the Victoria exhibition, there are a number of other royal apartments you can visit, it’s a great up close and personal way to see how the royals lived. You can also venture through the ornate gardens, overlooking Kensington Gardens. These include the luxurious Orangery, now a famous restaurant.
As well as the viewing the house they also have temporary exhibitions, and currently running is the Fashion Rules exhibition; a beautiful collection of dresses from contemporary royals including a young Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.
This beautiful palace is definitely worth a visit.
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You can find more info on visiting it at www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/