The King's State Apartments

The King's State Apartments

The King's Gallery at Kensington Palace

Explore these sumptuous set of rooms, each grander than the last.

Grand chambers of the State Apartments

The King's Staircase is the first link to the circuit of rooms making up the King's State Apartments. All the great and good of Georgian London would have climbed up these stairs to visit the king.

The Presence Chamber contains the nearest thing to a throne that you'll see at Kensington today - a gilded armchair that belonged to George II's son, Frederick.

The Privy Chamber was one of Queen Caroline's favourite entertaining spaces. See the magnificent ceiling painted by William Kent in 1723 as well as some impressive tapestries.

The Cupola Room is the most splendidly decorated room in the palace.

The King's Drawing Room is the climax of the whole suite of rooms where courtiers would have come in search of power and patronage.

In The King's Gallery, William III played soldiers with his little nephew and it was here that the King caught the chill that led to his death in 1702.

The rooms are surprisingly empty - this is because unlike domestic rooms, the State Apartments were used for audiences and meetings. Courtiers and visitors stood in the presence of Royalty so there was no need for the sorts of furniture you normally find in a home.

Works of art

The rooms contains many sculptures and works of art and craftsmenship.

In the Presence Chamber the fireplace is surrounded by limewood carvings by Grinling Gibbons. They include cherubs that were originally painted white.

Also in the State Apartments are the terracotta busts of George II and his wife Queen Caroline. They were made by Michael Rysbrack in 1738 and 1739.

The tapestries on the walls were made in the Mortlake Tapestry workshop founded by King Charles I.

One of the highlights is the painting of Venus and Cupid by Vasari on the wall of the King's Drawing Room. Queen Caroline tried to have the painting moved while her husband was away in Hanover. When the King returned he furiously insisted it be put back. It hangs there still today.

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