William III and Mary II
William and Mary at Kensington Palace
William and Mary purchased Nottingham House from Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham in 1689. They immediately commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to enlarge the property and it became Kensington Palace. But the improvements came to an abrupt halt in 1694 when Mary died suddenly of smallpox. After some years William did return to the project and the King’s Gallery was completed.
Mary II loved animals. In her gallery visitors had to be careful not to trip over the little red velvet beds she had made for her dogs, and bird cages hung at each of the windows. She was a great homemaker, and at Kensington Palace her massive collection of ceramics was arranged through all her rooms.
When William died Mary's sister Anne inherited the throne and also spent a good deal of time at Kensington Palace.