Since we were staying in Notting Hill and were near Kensington Gardens it seemed only sensible that the first thing to do on the trip to London was to visit Kensington Palace. Going straight from the plane to the palace made for a bleary eyed, dazed experience. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Kensington Gardens is beautiful and the palace doesn’t disappoint. It’s an old palace, of course, and like most of them has been added to and burned down any number of times.
Being my first palace, I didn’t then know that it is really rather plain compared to palaces that are actively used by royalty today, like Windsor Castle. Of course there are apartments in the palace where royalty does live, including William and Catherine, and a host of the Queen’s cousins. But the publicly accessible portions haven’t officially housed anyone since Queen Victoria moved out upon becoming Queen.
Highlights of Kensington Palace for me included the King’s state apartments. They were the most impressive rooms, as they tend to be. Also, the palace does a great job of telling the story of Queen Victoria, and her life growing up there under the Kensington system.
My favorite part of the visit was the display of royal fashion. It featured dresses of the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana (also a former resident of the palace). Right up my alley. From that exhibit it’s most surprising to see how tiny the Queen is and how tall and thin Diana was.
Anyway, per usual, here are a few photos to illustrate bits and pieces of the palace. Click or tap to see larger.