Visiting Kensington Palace – Home of Victoria Revealed

Visiting Kensington Palace
If the walls at Kensington Palace could talk, they would have plenty to say. Home to the Royal family for well over 400 years, this is where 18 year old Princess Victoria became Queen, Princess Margaret entertained the in crowd in the swinging sixties and Princess Diana brought up her children.

Kensington Palace is now the London base of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They are expected to return here from Norfolk on a more permanent basis this year. HRH Prince George is due to start primary school in London. Also the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are taking on more Royal engagements. This is to take the pressure off HM The Queen, who will be 91 this year, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who will be 96.

Kensington Palace is definitely one of my favourite royal palaces. Much of the palace is cared for by Historic Royal Palaces. Of course, private apartments in current use are not on show, but you can visit many historic state apartments.

Visiting Kensington Palace

Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

These include The King’s State Apartments dating from the Georgian era (King George I and onwards) and The Queen’s State Apartments which belonged to King William III and Queen Mary II, the only monarchs in British history to reign jointly. I always feel like I’m stepping back in time when I wander through the beautiful rooms, with their opulent furniture and priceless artworks lining the walls.

Victoria Revealed at Kensington Palace

One of my favourite parts of Kensington Palace is the Victoria Revealed exhibit. Victoria Revealed is a wonderful walk through the life of a woman, a wife, a mother and a Queen. Entering the Red Saloon where she became an Empress in a time when men ruled the world, I saw the strikingly tiny dress worn by Victoria. It made me think about how very young she was on that fateful day. How daunting to be one of the most powerful people in the world at the tender age of 18!

As I moved through to the rooms she lived and worked in, words from Queen Victoria’s diaries were everywhere – on the carpet, on the display cases, and on squares of card hanging from red ribbons. I saw her letters and her sketchbook from when she was a child. I also read the diary entry written the night she met Prince Albert while standing in the exact place she did when she laid eyes on the love her life for the first time.

Visiting Kensington Palace

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress is displayed with the words “Oh, this was the happiest day of my life”. Even the uniform Prince Albert wore on their wedding day bears her loving words embroidered on the back of the collar and on each cuff. I always feel as if I am walking through her life, and often have tears in my eyes by the end of this innovative and evocative exhibit.

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace

Photograph courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace

Fashion Rules, an exhibit exploring the wardrobes of The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales is another of my favourite places at Kensington Palace. The exhibition begins with The Queen’s dresses from the 1950’s and moves through the decades. Film, photographs and quotes sit alongside beautifully preserved pieces from three iconic royal wardrobes. Revitalised in February 2016, the exhibit now delves even further into the wardrobes of these three amazing women.

A Walk at Kensington Palace

To finish off the adventure, there’s nothing like a walk through Kensington Gardens, which adjoin the palace. They used to be the private palace gardens but are now one of London’s eight Royal Parks. Kensington Gardens also the home of the famous Peter Pan statue, the Serpentine Gardens and the Albert Memorial. You can spend hours wandering here on a fine day and you never know who you might see – there have been photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge walking the family dog here!

If you’d like to share in the adventure, check out the Historic Royal Palaces website.

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1230 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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Comments

  1. That looks so beautiful and full of history. The Victoria Revealed exhibit sounds especially interesting. I hope I have a chance to visit!

  2. That place is absolutely gorgeous! I love the classic feel of the grounds and the architecture. It’s so pretty!

  3. That place is so beautiful! I just love that wedding dress!

  4. What a cool place to visit! That would be so neat to read the diary entries and see all of the dresses. Wow.

  5. I would love to visit Fashion Rules. I did see some of Diana’s outfits (at Althorp, I think?) and was struck how different they were “in the flesh”, compared to how they appeared in photos. And have you had tea at the Orangery? That’s definitely on my bucket list!

    • You really would love it, Pauline. I’m so excited as they are doing another new exhibit of Diana’s outfits at Kensington and I’ve been invited to the preview at the end of February. I agree, they do look very different “in the flesh”. You would also love tea at The Orangery. They have some lovely cakes 😉

  6. I’d love to visit. A walk through the gardens would be amazing as well.

  7. Your posts, April are tugging at my 💖strings. Do I use my air miles for Tokyo or London? Guess I’ll have to win the lottery . I admire many aspects of Queen V 👸 Love to see fashions of Princess Di et al…and 💖English history!

    • Thank you so much, Kim! I do hope you will come to London one day. It would be lovely to meet up! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I am very excited as there is a new exhibit of Princess Diana’s dresses opening late next week at Kensington Palace and I’ve been invited to a preview. I just can’t wait 🙂

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