Kew Palace marks King George III’s 250th anniversary

Kew Palace marks King George III’s 250th anniversary

Detail from George III print by Smith

1 Nov 2011

This landmark anniversary will be commemorated by a display of rarely seen objects

Kew Palace, the beloved home of King George III, Queen Charlotte and their princesses, will be marking the 250th anniversary of the King’s accession to the throne through a unique collection of rarely seen personal effects belonging to Britain’s longest reigning male monarch.

Amongst the new items on display will be a fascinating handwritten account penned by George III himself, detailing the events of the day of his accession. A sentence stops abruptly half way through, almost implying the great flurry of activity that the king must have experienced on that momentous day.  It is believed to be the first time this important document has ever been put on public display and visitors will be able to view this and other items relating to the Kings accession as part of an exhibition at Kew Palace, once home to the King.

On the morning of Saturday 25 October 1760, George II died suddenly at Kensington Palace.  His eldest son, Frederick, had died in 1752 and the crown therefore went to Frederick’s first born son, the 22 year old George, whose boyhood had been spent, after his father’s death,  largely with his mother Augusta and  his siblings, at the White House at Kew. Later, George would return to Kew Palace with his family as it became a retreat for the ailing King during his ‘madness’.

The exhibition is set amongst these authentically recreated Georgian rooms making this a great family day of discovery.  Other items on show include a rosette commemorating the coronation and lines written by George III and inserted into his first speech to Parliament on 18 November 1760.

Each room of this small palace has been faithfully restored to the way its royal inhabitants once would have known it.  Ornately decorated and furnished rooms and unique, personal objects make this an immersive journey into the fascinating story of Kew Palace. What's more, children under 16, when accompanied by an adult, get in for free* to Kew Palace and Kew Gardens. 

Susanne Groom, Curator Historic Royal Palaces, said: “ We are delighted to have the opportunity to show such important and unique historic items at Kew Palace to mark the 250th anniversary of George III’s accession to the throne.  The record that George wrote on his accession day is a wonderful object offering us a unique snapshot of his day and this time in history.”


Notes to editors

* Offer applies to maximum of two accompanying children aged under 16 years per full paying adult. Maximum of four children per party. Adults must purchase admission tickets to Kew Gardens and Kew Palace for access. 

For images and further information please contact Cat Steventon in the Historic Royal Palaces press office on 0203 166 6302 or email

Kew Palace is open each day throughout the summer until 19 September 2010, for opening times and ticketing information visit Historic Royal Palaces website

Kew Palace is part of Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that additionally looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Banqueting House, Whitehall. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

We believe in four principles. Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work.

Registered charity number 1068852

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