Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle
Kensington Palace has been a royal home for over 300 years and even today, parts of the palace remain a private residence for members of the Royal Family. However, the magnificent State Apartments and the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which includes dresses worn by HM Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, are open to the public.
Kensington Palace was once a favoured home of some of Britain’s most famous kings and queens and the setting for many great events and dramas in royal history. Originally a private country house, the building was acquired by William III and Mary II in 1689 and was adapted for royal residence by Sir Christopher Wren.
For the next 70 years the palace was at the centre of the life and government of the kingdom and played host to the courts of William and Mary, Queen Anne, George I and George II. In the 19th century, Kensington Palace was the birthplace and childhood home of Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria).
Kensington Palace’s best known resident in recent years was Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-97) who occupied apartments in the north-west part of the palace from 1981 to 1997.
Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX.
Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington (Circle and District lines).
Times: November 1 to February 28 – daily from 10am to 5pm;
March 1 to October 31 – daily from 10am to 4pm.