A building history

A building history

An artist's view of Kensington Palace


This is the story of how Kensington Palace’s royal owners have used its spaces and shaped its physical transformation from the late 17th century to the present day.

  1. Jacobean origins
    William and Mary buy Nottingham House to escape the 'grime' of Whitehall
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  2. Queen Anne
    The Queen builds the Orangery and extends the gardens.
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  3. George I lavishly decorates
    The King rebuilds, spends lavishly and employs the little-known William Kent.
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  4. Neglect under George II
    Kensington falls into disuse as its last reigning monarch mourns his Queen
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  5. Duchess
    The future queen is born at Kensington, while her mother’s palace alterations upset William IV.
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  6. Queen Victoria
    The Queen saves Kensington's state apartments from near demolition and they become a public exhibition space
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  7. Public museum and royal home
    The sometime site of the London Museum is still a home to the royal family.
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  8. Further reading
    Bibliography of Kensington Palace
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