Inside Kensington Palace

In 2012, the royal residence in London reopened to the public after a two-year, £12 million ($19 million) renovation. Get a glimpse of Kensington Palace’s new look.

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Photo By: Historic Royal Palaces

Exterior

Kensington Palace began as a quaint country mansion that William III and Queen Mary bought for £20,000 in 1689. Since then, the palace has housed a number of royal residents, including Diana, Princess of Wales, and current residents William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In 2012, the royal residence reopened to the public after a two-year transformation by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces. The cast iron and glass portico entrance is one of the palace’s new additions.

Statue of Victoria

In front of the new public entrance stands a statue of Victoria, sculpted by her daughter Princess Louise.

Entrance

Luminous Lace, a light sculpture created by designers Loop.pH, greets visitors to Kensington Palace. The piece is made of almost four kilometers of electroluminescent wire and is meant to mimic a royal lace pattern.

Queen’s Apartment

Historic Royal Palaces worked with theater-makers Coney to radically transform the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, revealing the secret lives of some of England’s most interesting monarchs from the Houses of Stuart and Hanover. This installation in the Queen’s Apartment features soundscapes and interactive games.

Queen’s Gallery

A flock of porcelain birds floats overhead as part of Coney’s set design in The Queen’s Gallery.

The Grand King's Staircase

Painted by William Kent, The Grand King’s Staircase depicts a lively 18th-century court full of intriguing and unexpected characters.

The Red Saloon

Victoria Revealed, a permanent exhibition on the ground floor of Kensington Palace, explores the life and reign of one of the palace’s most famous residents: Queen Victoria. The first room of the exhibit – The Red Salon – is where the 18-year-old queen held her first official meeting. Restored to its original color and furnishings, the room houses the dress Victoria wore on the occasion and the document where she put her first signature as queen.

The Love Room

The Love Room is a tribute to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s romance. The queen’s wedding dress is on display, as is jewelry designed by her husband.

The Mourning Room

The room explores the mourning period for Victoria's family after Prince Albert's untimely death. The central showcase displays Queen Victoria's earliest surviving mourning dress and two outfits worn by her children, Leopold and Beatrice.

Sunken Garden

The palace’s gorgeous Sunken Garden was planted in 1908; ornamental flower beds surround a pond with fountains formed from reused 18th century water cisterns. Today, the garden continues the tradition of rotational flower displays in the spring and summer.

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