Kensington Palace

While half of this spacious palace is used as lavish royal apartments, the other half, which includes the 18th century state rooms, is open to the public.  William III and his wife Mary purchased the mansion in 1689 after their ascension to the throne.  They commissioned Christopher Wren to convert the mansion (originally built in 1605) into a royal palace.  He created separate suites of rooms for the king and queen, and today, visitors use the queen's entrance.

Highlights include the finely decorated state rooms.  On the ground floor, an exhibition of court dress from 1760 to the present includes those worn by Queen Elizabeth II.  There is also a permanent display of Princess Diana's dresses.  

Some interesting royal events have taken place here:  Queen Anne died from apoplexy and Princess Victoria learned that her uncle William IV had died beginning her 64-year reign as queen.  After the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, the gates became a focal point for mourners in their thousands, who turned the surrounding area into a field of bouquets.


Kensington Palace

Kensington Gate

Kensington Palace


Garden Topiary

Sunken Garden

Kensington Park

Royal Dresses

Royal Ceremonial Dress

Queen's Hat Collection

State Apartments

State Apartments

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