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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace was originally built in the early 17th-century in the village of Kensington, and it was known as Nottingham House for the Earl of Nottingham.

The house was acquired by King William III in 1689 because the asthmatic King wanted a home near London but away from the smokey air of the capital. Kensington Palace was renovated and extended by Sir Christopher Wren who attached pavilions to each corner of the central block. Wren also reoriented the house to make it face west and built north and south wings.

Kensington Palace was the favoured residence of British monarchs for 70 years but was never the official seat of the Court which remained at St. James's. Queen Mary and King William III both died at Kensington Palace in 1694 and 1702 respectively. After King William III's death, the palace became the residence of Queen Anne.

Today Kensington Palace is the official London residence of The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kensington Palace was also the official residence of Diana, Princess of Wales from 1981 until her death in 1997.

The visitor to Kensington Palace today will find that the State Rooms are open to the public.

Kensington Palace is located in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London.

Kensington Palace
Kensington Gardens
W8 4PX
Tel: 0844 482 7777

Kensington Palace map

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