EVERY girl wants to feel like royalty occasionally and so I thought it was best to follow in the footsteps of several of the royal family and visit their old home, Kensington Palace. One of the few historic royal palaces included in the top 100, Kensington Palace, located in Hyde Park has just reopened after a long £12million refurbishment.
At the west side of Hyde Park, the Palace over looks Kensington Gardens and the Round Pond and is easy walking distance from Queensway or High Street Kensington. If you’re lucky enough to get a sunny day it is the perfect destination after a walk or ride through the park.
A £17 ticket gets you access into the Palace where you can slowly work your way around and discover the four stories they have on display. The story we first followed was the one of Queen Victoria and the beginning of her reign and her marriage to Albert. Throughout the whole area they had quotes from her diaries and speeches written all over the walls and ornaments. It was a really interesting way to view her reign through her own words. What struck me the most was her love letters to Albert and how much she seemed to love him. It was only then that I found out that she wore black for the rest of her life after he died. It was a side of the royal family I had never heard of and for a romantic like me, was a great one!
We then visited the room dedicated to Princess Diana which is found at the end of a corridor adorned with wallpaper featuring sketches of her face and figure. I would have to admit that the room is slightly disappointing as it is quite small and only features a few of her ball gowns and several photo and as there seemed to be so much more to her short-lived life, I was sorry I didn’t get to learn a bit more.
The next story we followed was that of ‘the King’ as we were lead into the King’s State apartments. This area has a card game included for those interested in interacting with the displays. I was more inclined to wander around and view all the different chambers featuring furniture and clothing of the era.
The fourth and last story we visited was ‘the Queen’s apartments’ which is home to quite a scandalous argument if the stories are to be believed. It is also home to the Queen’s gallery where there are many portraits and rugs hung all over the walls. It is tempting to sit in the bay window seats and gaze up at the paintings however let me warn you — the walls talk. Literally! There must be speakers on sensors and as I was sitting there someone started whispering something to me which gave me a bit of a surprise!
I was glad that I finally got a chance to check out the Palace, however I must admit it was a bit different than what I was expecting. It had so many modern aspects to it and I think I was expecting something a bit more traditional. However I definitely learnt a few things about the royal history and I look forward to exploring Hampton Court Palace next to compare!
The Orangery found right outside the palace is a great place to stop in before or after your visit for some tea or a meal.