Half of the Kensington Palace – a very spacious house – is used as a Royal residence; the other half, which includes official rooms from the 18th century and Kensington Gardens, is open to the public. When King William III and his wife Mary came to the throne in 1689, they bought this 1605 mansion and commissioned Christopher Wren to transform it into a Royal Palace. The architect has created separate rooms for the King and the Queen and nowadays the visitors use the Queen entrance.
Kensington Palace was the scene of major Royal events. The Queen Anne died here in 1714, victim of a seizure by indigestion. On June 20, 1837, Princess Victoria of Kent was awakened at 5AM to receive the news that her uncle William IV had died and she became Queen. After the death of Princess Diana in 1997, thousands of people passed through the gates and the area around became a field all covered in flower bouquets.
Nowadays the Palace is going through a massive change and previous displays and rooms are closed for the building works. The intention is to finish the new project by 2012, with the creation of new gardens, courtyards and public spaces.
The State Apartments remain open for public visit and transformed into the Enchanted Palace with historic rooms redecorated and preserving the original characteristics. Some of the other attractions are The Orangery Café and restaurant and the Sunken Garden.
March till September: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
October till February: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
The Palace will be closed on 24, 25, 26 December and from 4 January 2012 to 25 March 2012 inclusive.
Enchanted evenings: Friday 13 May, Friday 17 June and Friday 15 July 2011 the Palace is open till 9:00PM.
Adults – Ł12,50
Students and seniors – Ł11,00
Children (5-15 years old) – Ł6,25
Children (under 5) – Free
FREE entrance with London Pass. Learn more about London Pass;
London W8 4PX
Closest attractions: Nothing Hill, Royal Albert Hall, Natural History Museum and Science Museum.
Getting there:High Street Kensington and Queensway tube stations. Buses 9, 10, 49, 52, 70, 94, 148, 390 and 452.
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3166 6000
Facilities and Additional Information
- Restricted access facilities for people with physical disabilities;
- Online booking;
- Restaurants and Cafés.