Top Facts about Kensington Palace
In the heart of London, and a short distance away from Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace, is the magnificent Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace is a monumental piece of British History. The palace, managed by the Historic Royal Palaces has a significant historic value and importance. Some parts of the vast palace are also often opened to the public; and so if you are in London, or the next time you are there, make sure to get a ticket to visit this important piece of history, which is open to adults and children as well!
There are rumors that there are ghosts which walk the corridors and rooms of the palace, some people say that Kind George’s ghost is often seen and heard in the King’s Gallery saying his last words ‘Why won’t they come?’. Spooked? Here are some other not-spooky facts about Kensington Palace you probably did not know!
1. King William and Queen Mary II’s home
The original home to the monarchs was a palace near the River Thames in Central London. But in 1869, during the reign of King William III and Queen Mary II, the monarchs had to look for an alternative place to live because King William III had asthma which was worsened by the conditions of the areas surrounding the palace. They then found a villa just outside of the city buying it at about $25,000 and the King and Queen had Sir Christopher Wren expand it. The villa, then called the Nottingham House, was occupied by the king and queen and from then, was crowned Kensington Palace. It has become the home of the monarchs since then! The palace was initially just a mansion built in the 16th Century and completed in the 17th century by a wealthy Londoner, Sir George Coppin.
2. Great home for the monarchs
A palace is a place where monarchs stay. And this palace has been in existence and been a home to monarchs in England for hundreds of years, since the 17th century. Some of the most notable monarchs in history have called the palace home; and even in the 21st century, the current ones call it home! The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate Middleton live with their children in one of the sections at the palace in Apartment 1A; other people also live there like Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack who stay in the Ivy Cottage, the Prince and Princess of Kent live at the Wren House, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, as well as the Prince and Princess of Kent. The palace has played a host to many notable names across the world over the years like President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama of the United States of America, in 2016. Many popular celebrities like The Beatles, Britt Eckland, Rudolph Nureyev, and many more are also known to have been hosted and performed at the palace.
3. A palace fit for Queen Victoria!
it is said that this is where Quen Victoria spotted King Albert whom she married, and with whom she had seven children! It is also important to note that Queen Victoria was born in this palace and was christened here as well! Queen Victoria is also known to have saved the palace from destruction after there was a call for it to be destroyed because of the very bad condition that it was in- it had mold, it was unkempt, and was infested and decaying. It was then decided that restoration of the palace should take place and it was given a facelift in 1897. The section, which was named the State Rooms was now opened to the public two years later after completion, as a temporary host for the London Museum. This enabled the palace to act as a residence for the monarchs as well as a museum and public space! Now, one can attend galleries, as well as view clothes and attires worn by Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, and many more! The palace has also recently undergone some major renovations and was again opened to the public in 2012! Princess Victoria’s life was an interesting one, one of them being that as she grew up, her mother had what was and is popularly known as the Kensington Rules, which were meant to make her dependent on her mother and not allow her to make allies with her relatives. This however backfired on her mother since Victoria turned out to be one of the most spectacular queens England has seen.
4. Queen Anne and the Palace of misfortunes for women
Queen Anne is one of the most notable monarchs of her time, who also had quite a life at the palace. The queen who in her life carried 18 pregnancies but whose children all died before reaching adulthood, lived at the Kensington Palace as well. She is also known to have been the one who built the popular Orangery, which during the time of construction in the early 1700s was a greenhouse meant for the queen to use to farm exotic plants among other things! She is also known to have planned and hosted many amazing parties at the building, and even now, events still take place there. The palace is often said to be not so nice for women, since most of them have either died or had misfortunes at the palace, for example, Queen Mary II who bought the palace died of smallpox, Queen Caroline died there of an umbilical hernia after eight pregnancies and Princess Diana is said to have had an unhappy life living there.
5. Princess Diana’s Home
The late Princess Diana was a darling of many. It was after she got married to Prince Charles that they moved to Kensington Palace and this is also where she and her husband raised their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The palace is very beautiful, and is divided into apartments, also has well-manicured lawns, ponds, fountains, gardens, sculptures and a lot of greenery. When she died, millions of people showed up to the palace bringing with them flowers and notes and even stuffed animals, the items which were estimated to be around 60 million pieces! When she died, it is said that her room remained vacant for over 10 years!