Visiting Kensington Palace

Living in London for many years, we’ve walked past Kensington Palace at least 1,294 times. Clutching ill-gotten snacks, sunning ourselves in the enormous park, exploring tube oddities such as the fake terrace in Leinster Gardens, sipping tea in the afternoon with fellow blog-addicts, discovering the Grade II listed stump known as the Elfin Oak. All of these, and every single time I’ve said ‘I really want to visit Kensington Palace, I should do it sometime.’

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

 

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

This is a sure sign of taking a city for granted – taking more
than 5 years to get my permatourist butt into gear, and walk through
those gates. We’ve made our way around the others – nearly vaulting into
the thrones at Buckingham Palace, sipped tea with the Queen whilst hatted, taken part in ancient key ceremonies with Royal Guardsmen, taken overseas friends to Windsor, discovered royal cottages tucked in amongst Bluebells, explored Hampton Court Palace, spent hours in the Tower of London, but still walked past Kensington Palace again and again. Talk about a fail.

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Kensington Palace feels like a grown-ups version of a dolls
house. Perfectly proportioned from one angle, exquisitely gilded
unicorns prance over ironwork gates, then you turn towards the visitors
entrance. Security won’t let you into the
private living quarters of Prince William, Kate and cherubic George, but the rest is open for visitors (of the paying rather than just privileged kind) which have been admired
since Queen Victoria opened the floors to the public in 1899.
 

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Each area seems rather distinctly set up in a labyrinthine way, set into dollhouse like sections. Perfectly manicured stages, set to display Royal history.

The
dial positioned over the fireplace is still connected to a wind-vane on
the roof so that the King could see which way the wind was blowing, –
See more at:
http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/kingsgallery#sthash.ozQxi1Ee.dpuf

The
dial positioned over the fireplace is still connected to a wind-vane on
the roof so that the King could see which way the wind was blowing, –
See more at:
http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/kingsgallery#sthash.ozQxi1Ee.dpuf

The
dial positioned over the fireplace is still connected to a wind-vane on
the roof so that the King could see which way the wind was blowing, –
See more at:
http://www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace/stories/kingsgallery#sthash.ozQxi1Ee.dpuf

Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

A hallway is filled with portraits of Diana, Princess of Hearts.

Princess Diana Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

The opulent Kings Staircase with Trompe L’Oeil has children peeping through balustrades…

… leading to the King’s Galleries where fine art hangs and a
dial positioned over the fireplace is still connected to a wind-vane on
the roof so that the King William III could see which way the wind was blowing.

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Queen Mary II’s apartments are selectively filled with fine furniture including beautiful Delft porcelein and secret doorways.

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Fashion Rules Kate Middleton Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

A ‘Fashion Rules’ exhibit currently displays a glittering wardrobe of royal dresses (complete with manly sitting area – they really need to set up a pub bar) and a Victoriana exhibition displaying the lighter side of childhood for one the most infamously stony faced Queens

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

For this post, I’m blaming Amanda whose Kensington Palace exploration finally convinced me to go. There are a few really good 2 for 1 deals you can get to visit – but I’ve learned that if you go on your own no-one can complain at how many photos you stop and take… mwahahaha!

Victoria and Albert Visiting Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

It’s a nice, couple of hours wander through history.

Kensington Palace Adventures of a London Kiwi

Have you been?

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