From 26 March 2012 Kensington Palace will launch the new Clore Learning Centre, following a generous £500,000 donation from the Clore Duffield Foundation. The learning centre, covering around 500m2, forms an integral part of Historic Royal Palaces’ major £12 million project transforming the visitor experience of the London palace in time for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics.
The new Clore Learning Centre provides for the first time a permanent home for learning at Kensington Palace enabling 10,000 learners each year to benefit from HRP’s education activity programmes. The dedicated learning facilities are connected to the heart of the redeveloped palace and offer:
- Three separate learning spaces equipped to facilitate a wide variety of education activities and uses.
- Two break-out spaces off the main visitor routes (in the palace’s State Apartments) for learning sessions
- A new welcome and reception area for education groups
- New cloakrooms and WC facilities
- Office space for Historic Royal Palaces’ on-site Access & Learning team
Students can take part in an exciting range of taught sessions as well as exploring the palace themselves in self-directed visits. As part of this redevelopment we are also delighted to be able to offer free admission for under 16s.
Students will discover tales of love, sadness and joy within the walls of the palace. With four new routes to explore; Victoria Revealed, King’s State Apartments, Queen’s State Apartments and new temporary exhibitions, s they can enjoy a wide range of activities including workshops, discussions, debates and access to a costume handling collection. Sessions for Key Stages 1, 2,and 3, GCSE and A Level students will be available, alongside courses for teachers.
Built in 1689 for William III and Mary II, Kensington Palace has been home to some of Britain’s most famous members of the royal family including George II, Queen Victoria and Princess Margaret, and the setting for many great events and dramas in royal history. The palace is filled with stories of events that have shaped our nation’s history and more personal stories too of the people who lived and worked here. A palace of secret stories and private lives!
With so much to explore the education programme will look at the following key themes:
Image and Identity – Looking at the various ways the inhabitants of Kensington Palace represented themselves, students will explore this theme through fashion, art, photography and architecture, and examine how we express identity today.
Victoria – Experience history where it happened! Queen Victoria was born at Kensington and spent the first 18 years of her life there. She first set eyes on her beloved Albert within the palaces walls and held her first Privy Council meeting in the Red Saloon.
Life at court – Exploring the role Kensington had to play in being the seat of court life from 1689 – 1760. There are great stories to be told about fashion, court protocol, gossip and politics. This period saw the development of party-politics, constitutional monarchy and the birth of the nation. We will look at what impact this period of change had on our lives today.
Students will also be able to use our costume handling collection in the new textiles breakout room. The handling collection references and complements the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which contains over 10,000 items worn by royalty and courtiers from the seventeenth century to the present day.There will also be items of 18th century costume on display in the King’s State Apartments including 18th century court dresses and George III’s coronations robes.
The new Clore Learning Centre will also provide space and facilities for Historic Royal Palaces Outreach and Community Involvement team to host visits and workshops.
Jenny Wedgbury, Education Officer at Kensington Palace, said: “We want to welcome students to the palace and encourage them to be curious at Kensington! We’re delighted to be able to launch our fabulous new education facilities and schools programme and look forward to helping people of all ages to explore the palace and its fascinating stories and collections.”