2006 restoration

2006 restoration

The Royal Family outside Kew Palace

The palace reopened to the public in April 2006 after a widely acclaimed restoration.

Kew Palace hosted its first dinner for a monarch in two hundred years...

The Queen's party

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday at Kew Palace on 21 April 2006. Prince Charles had taken a great interest in Historic Royal Palaces’ ten-year restoration of Kew Palace, which was completed in early 2006.

It was soon after the restoration was finished that he arranged to host a private dinner at the palace to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 80th birthday.

Not since George III stayed at the palace in private had a monarch dined at Kew, two hundred years before.

On 21 April, before dinner, 26 close members of the Royal Family, along with a crowd of two thousand well wishers, enjoyed the Prince of Wales’s magnificent birthday gift of a firework display over Kew Gardens. The Queen’s party then all fitted into Kew’s small dining room.

The party enjoyed simple, English food. The BBC reported they had: ‘Hebridean smoked salmon, Juniper-roast loin of Sandringham Estate venison and birthday chocolate sponge cake filled with a Highgrove fruit filling.’

It was still much richer, however, than George III’s frugal meal of mutton chops shared in the same dining room in 1804 with his former Prime Minister, Lord Sidmouth.

More details can be found in the many good books published about Kew.

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