Discover our palaces

We are lucky enough to look after extraordinary palaces, spaces and objects in our palaces. We look after Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens in Northern Ireland.

Between them, the six extraordinary historic buildings in our care have witnessed 1,000 years of history. They have survived many tumultuous moments in the past. 

Take a look at some highlights and stories that we can share with you during these challenging times.

Lucy Worsley, Joint Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces

Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets

Take a tour of three of our palaces with Lucy Worsley in the programme Royal Palaces Secrets, available on BBC iplayer in the UK on PBS in the US. 

With the palaces closed, Lucy takes you on a tour of the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace as she uncovers the dramatic events that changed the course of British history. 

With a £100 million shortfall in our finances this year, we need your support now more than ever, to sustain the charity through this difficult period. If you love the palaces and believe in what we do, please donate today. Simply Text PALACES to 70085 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message. Thank you.

Virtual tours

Gardens United logo

Discover our gardens online

Gardens United is a collaboration with Google Arts & Culture available online.

Take a virtual stroll through our historic gardens and enjoy 23 stories that celebrate the characteristics that make our palace gardens wonderful and unique.

Behind the scenes

Beyond Palace Doors

Our palaces are full of hidden secrets. Take a peek behind the scenes in our video series.

Palace stories

Read stories from our curators about our palaces and the people who lived in them.

Photograph of Standing with Giants installation at Hampton Court Palace in the East Front Gardens, depicting artwork featuring silhouettes of two World War soldiers. A wreath of poppies is positioned between them.

Blog: Hampton Court Palace during the First World War

Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday give us annual pause to think about the immense sacrifice made by men and women from around the world during the First World War. Curator Polly Putnam has been researching the role of Hampton Court Palace during that terrible conflict.

A print of Phillis Wheatley. Phillis Wheatley sits at a table holding a quill pen, her head resting on the other hand in a pose that indicates creative thought.

Blog: Phillis Wheatley

Curator Charles Farris explores the life of Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784), the first published African American woman, who visited the Tower of London in 1773.

A line-drawn engraving-style illustration showing a bird's eye view of the Tower of London.

Blog: Jewish workers and prisoners at the Tower

This year marks the 731st anniversary of the Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, when the Jewish population of England were forced to convert or go into exile by Edward I. Postdoctoral researcher Rory MacLellan and Heritage Management MA student Lydia McCutcheon write about three of these fascinating individuals.

More stories

Past exhibitions

Photograph of George III's waistcoat inside Kew Palace in the George III: The Mind Behind The Myth exhibition
Things to see

To celebrate the achievements of King George III, a display in 2021 considered the real man behind the much-peddled myth. This exhibition has ended.

Closed

Kew Palace

Included in Kew Gardens admission

Henry VIII (1491-1547) June 1526-June 1527, by LUCAS HORENBOUT (C. 1490/5-1544)
Events Things to see

Immerse yourself in Tudor history as we reunite stunning works of art, gold, weapons, manuscripts and clothing from the Field of Cloth of Gold, Henry VIII's legendary encounter with his great rival François I of France.

Closed

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I exhibition, showing curator Eleri Lynn looking at the Bacton Altar Cloth in a case. The Rainbow Portrait hangs in the background of the green exhibition space.
Things to see

See the Bacton Altar Cloth, a rare survival of Elizabethan dress worn by Elizabeth I, and the iconic Rainbow Portrait at Hampton Court Palace.

Closed

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)