Key events

Key events

External architecture

Important events in the history of Kensington Palace.

1605  Completion of the first house on the site of Kensington Palace. It was built for Sir Walter Cope, a businessman and politician

July 1689  William III and Mary II bought Nottingham House from the Earl of Nottingham for £20,000. This house would be transformed into Kensington Palace

8 March 1702  William III dies at Kensington Palace following a riding accident at Hampton Court

February 1722  The artist, William Kent submits his estimate for the decoration of George I’s new set of state rooms. He gazumped the King’s Serjeant Painter, Sir James Thornhill and won the contract.

Summer 1734  A delegation of Cherokee Indians visit George II and Queen Caroline.

24 May 1819  Queen Victoria born at Kensington Palace

20 June 1837  Queen Victoria receives the news from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain that her uncle William IV had died and she was now queen.

24 May 1899  The state apartments at Kensington Palace opened to the public for the first time

October 1940  Incendiary bombs damage the Queen’s apartments at Kensington Palace

7 September 1997  The funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales leaves Kensington Palace for her funeral at Westminster Abbey.  

Timelines for the other palaces

Important moments and dates in the history of the other historic royal palaces.

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