A Visit to Kensington Palace


sunken gardens

Peeking through a break in the shrubbery provides a beautiful view of the Sunken Garden with Kensington Palace in the background.

flowers

Kensington Palace has been home to members of the Royal Family since 1689.  The map below shows a layout of the grounds.

map

But first things first.  A walk to The Orangery for a little rest and refreshment.

orangery

Inside the Orangery restaurant.

inside

I chose a table outside so I could enjoy the beautiful day and surroundings. I ordered a traditional English iced tea.  This had me a little curious as I have never had a positive reaction when I have mentioned iced tea in England, but it tasted great just the same.

ice tea

The Orangery has a full menu, and I think this would be an excellent setting for an afternoon tea.  I wanted something light and chose to have a starter of tuna carpaccio, nicoise salad and quail’s egg, which was just right for a warm day.  I should add that if you want to see Americans this a good place to do so.  Of the six tables in the area I was sitting I think all of them were occupied by Americans!  There is also a more casual cafe connected to the palace near the gift shop.

salad

Here is the view from the front entrance with the Queen Victoria statue featured.  Queen Victoria grew up at Kensington Palace.  Today the palace is divided into two –  a private wing where members of the wider royal family have their homes.  As you may know where William and Kate are remodelling an apartment for their residence.  The other part of the palace is the area open to the public.

palace entry

Near the entrance the Wiggly Walk.  Perhaps little Prince George will be running around these paths one day.

walk

Inside the areas for public view are divided into sections.  Pictured below the mural on the stairway to The King’s State Apartments of George ll and Queen Caroline.

painting

Other areas for viewing are Victoria Revealed, the rooms where Victoria spent her childhood, The Queen’s State Apartments, the rooms created for Mary ll, and Modern Royals – Fashion Rules.  Queen Mary ll ruled jointly with her husband King William lll in the 17th century.  They bought Kensington Palace to be their new home away from the busy Whitehall Palace.

Here are some various apparel items on display throughout history.

 

The Fashion Rules exhibit showcases gowns worn by the present Queen in the 1950’s, (bottom row left and right) Princess Margaret in the 60’s and 70’s and Princess Diana in the 80’s (centre bottom row).

flowers and steeple

The gardens surrounding the palace are beautiful and you can walk around them if you don’t have the time or interest to go inside the palace.

border flowers

The side of the palace, showing the public area on the right and the private wings to the left with the statue of King William lll.

outside

These are the golden gates that were covered in flowers in floral tributes to Princess Diana when she died in 1997. The palace brochure states that every piece of railing surrounding the place was covered, and the flowers stretched out like a carpet into Kensington Gardens.

gates

Inside the palace I found this wallpaper in a hall section very interesting featuring scenes from many of her iconic photographs.

wallpaper

A field of wildflowers next to the palace.  I would say it is not the most ornate or glamorous of the Royal Places but certainly one with years of history and importance.  And who knows what the future will hold at Kensington Palace?

wildflower field

Categories: England, Gardens, LondonTags: , , ,

7 comments

  1. Thank you for posting these lovely pictures.

  2. Well Jane you have visited somewhere that I have not. Lovely. Is there such a thing as Traditional English Iced Tea!

  3. This is one of the places I have yet to visit even when we had a Historical Royal Palaces membership which we are hoping to join again soon and this is on top of our list to visit this time. Beautiful images.

  4. When I visited the palace, lunch in the orangery was vetoed. I was most disappointed!!

    You have caught the gardens at a pretty time of year 🙂

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