Community and groups

Community and groups

Community group event at Kensington Palace

We work with the communities on our doorstep, throughout the tri-borough of Kensington & Chelsea, City of Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham, to create a shared sense of belonging and ownership of our palaces and help us stay better connected to our audiences and locality.

If you would like to be involved in future activities and projects, please email


Build your own discovery training programme

Build your own discovery’ is an access scheme for the adult community groups and education providers based local to Kensington Palace, within the tri-borough of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and the City of Westminster. In addition to providing free access to the palace, this programme aims to engage local adults with the stories, collections and historic spaces in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them. We do this by training up and supporting group leaders and adult learning tutors to lead visits for their groups.

Through this programme, we hope local community members gain a sense of ownership and belonging at the palace, especially those who would not normally visit the palace or see it as a place of interest for them.

‘Build your own discovery’ consists of a one-day training for group leaders and adult learning tutors, free group visits,  discount entry tickets and staff support to help groups leaders and tutors plan visits.

Training sessions are available twice a year (spring and autumn). There are two training days available in spring 2017:

  • Friday 21 April 2017, 10:00-16:00
  • Monday 24 April 2017, 10:00-16:00

For more information, or to register your interest, email:

Share your experience, thoughts and photos of your 'Build your own discovery' visit on Twitter using #KensingtonDiscovery

Build your own discovery: ESOL entry level 1-3 resources

Kensington Palace’s multicultural history is reflected in its surrounding communities which are some of the most diverse in the United Kingdom.

We have worked in close partnership with Westminster Adult Education Service to design and test two English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) resources based on the Georgians and Victoria Revealed exhibitions at Kensington Palace.

The resources contain a range of pre-visit, during visit and post-visit activities with accompanying teacher notes that help support learners in their development of the English language.

Westminster Adult Education Service aligned the activities with the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum.

Download the Victoria Revealed ESOL resource

Download the Georgians at Kensington Palace ESOL resource

Past projects

Find out more about the range of projects and special events our team has hosted at Kensington Palace in recent years.

Court Whispering, 2014

Court Whispering was a collaborative performance project developed in partnership between English National Ballet, Historic Royal Palaces and Open Age.

Inspired by stories of ‘The Glorious Georges’ at Historic Royal Palaces, Open Age dancers worked with English National Ballet choreographers and composers to develop a creative performance that shared the sense of gossip and intrigue surrounding the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace.

After two months of intense workshops, dancers performed for nearly 300 people at the Banqueting House, helping the audience gain a better understanding of the Georgian Court through movement, music and participation. 

Citizenship ceremonies, 2008-14

Since 2008, we have worked in partnership with registrar offices in Tower Hamlets, Richmond, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, to host citizenship ceremonies in our palaces. It has been a privilege sharing in these life changing moments as we have witnessed hundreds of people becoming new British citizens in our iconic spaces.

Victoria's Diamond Jubilee projects, 2012

We worked with children, teenagers and adults of all ages to create community exhibits for 'Jubilee - a view from the crowd', an exhibition marking Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Working with artists Natalie Ryde, Kate Aplin and Tom Barnecut, participants worked on four projects to create 160 metres of bunting, a stained glass chandelier, ceramic plates and fabric flowers for a triumphal arch.

These artworks provided a special layer of interpretation for palace visitors to enjoy – including HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who came to re-open Kensington Palace after a restoration and renovation project and saw a bunting making workshop in progress!


Royal Wedding Doves projects, 2011

Kensington & Chelsea community groups discovered stories from royal weddings in history and worked with artist Kay Aplin on a special project to mark the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Participants created 29 individually decorated ceramic doves, one for each day of April leading up to the Royal Wedding. The doves were displayed in Kensington Palace in April 2011, so that all palace visitors could admire them leading up to ‘the big day’. After the Royal Wedding, the doves were sent to the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a wedding present from the participants.


A community tea set, 2011

Westminster community groups found inspiration in Mary II’s love of blue and white china to create their own blue and white tea set for Kensington Palace.

The china tea set, containing over 100 items, is blue and white to resemble Mary II’s beloved style, but has a contemporary twist as it is covered in participants’ unique patterns and drawings. The groups celebrated the project completion with a tea party using the new tea set, after which it was display in Kensington Palace for all visitors to admire.


Enchanted Palace projects, 2010

We involved community groups from both East and West London to create exhibits for display in ‘Enchanted Palace’, an experience that wove together the stories of seven princesses associated with Kensington Palace in a bizarre, beautiful, fantastical experience which combined theatrical and fashion installations. Projects included:

  • Knitted Crown Jewels and throne
  • Silhouettes for the Cradle Walk outside the palace
  • Dream-inspired wall drawings
  • Paper ‘story map’ dresses
  • Embroidered map for the Cabinet of Curiosities
  • Christmas tree inspired by the story of Peter the Wild Boy

These projects were viewed by thousands of people alongside historic items and work by professional artists and fashion designers. Together they blended historic and contemporary stories, showing the links between past and present and the relevance that Kensington still has in today’s society.


What to wear, 2009-10

This reminisce project involved older people unable to visit the ‘Last debutantes 1958: Season of change’ exhibition. Participants at Royal London Hospital and four care homes in Kensington shared their stories of fashion and social changes from the late 1950s with illustrator Rachel Gannon.

Rachel created illustrations inspired by these descriptive memories which were collected to create a beautiful limited edition book. Copies of the book were sent to each participant with extras given to the hospital and care homes to use as a reminiscence tool to engage others.

Downloadable Resources

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