Base Court will be closed to visitors until 27 June 2018. More information

William III's apartments

The State Apartments and private rooms of William III (1689-1702)

The State Apartments and private rooms of William III (1689-1702)

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Hampton Court Palace tickets

William III's State Apartments

The grand staircase leads to William III’s State Apartments. On the wall is ‘Victory of Alexander over the Caesars’, by Italian artist Verrio. The 12 Caesars represent the Catholic forces that William has ousted in the Glorious Revolution. William is the hero Alexander.

The Guard Chamber displays a remarkable collection of weapons on the walls. Yeomen of the Guard would have been stationed at the door, checking courtiers were suitably dressed and behaved before allowing them into the Presence Chamber. This is the official throne room, with the chair of estate under its formal canopy. Usually empty, visitors would still have had to bow to the throne as they passed through. The State Apartments look empty to modern eyes but they would have been filled with beautifully dressed courtiers, meeting, gossiping and playing politics.

Next comes the Privy Chamber where only statesmen and courtiers close to the king are allowed entry. You can see the spectacular Privy Garden from the windows.

Don’t miss the ornate wood-carvings throughout William’s apartments. These incredibly delicate, virtuoso carvings are the work of Grinling Gibbons, a master-craftsman of the seventeenth century.

The spectacular Great Bedchamber wasn’t for sleeping in but for the King to be dressed in public. Next door, the Little Bedroom has a painted ceiling by Verrio with a bed-time theme; here Mars, the God of War, lies snoozing in the arms of Venus, Goddess of Love. Only the King’s most personal staff and close courtiers come in here.

Williams III’s Private Apartments

Downstairs the rooms are on a more human scale – this is where William III really lived, displaying his prized possessions and entertaining his favourite people. The closets contain paintings hung on ropes. It’s a clever device – which allowed the King to re-hang them whenever the fancy took him. They’re all pictures he particularly liked and give us a good idea of his taste. The amazing centrepiece is by Steinwich, the Flemish artist, of his liberation of Saint Peter.

In the Orangery William’s orange and bay trees are stored during the winter months. In the summer, the doors open on to his Privy Garden.

William’s private dining room is laid out as it would have been in seventeen hundred, towards the end of his life, when he sat surrounded by the famous Hampton Court Beauties paintings. In the alcove at the far end is a marble-topped table designed for a display of gold plate. Wine was served from this alcove, and dirty plates removed to it, then after dinner the shutter would be dropped, leaving the king and his companions in complete privacy.

A History of Royal Fashion

Want to take a peek into the wardrobes of the kings and queens of the past?

With exclusive access to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, this free online course from Historic Royal Palaces & the University of Glasgow explores clothing from the Tudors to the Windsors.

Sign up on FutureLearn

Explore what's on

Logo fo Hampton Court Pride at the Palace 2017
Events Tours and talks

Join us as we uncover the LGBT+ stories of Hampton Court Palace's past and bring them to life.

29 June - 1 July 2018

Hampton Court Palace

19:00 and 20:00

Events Tours and talks

Join us as we uncover the LGBT+ stories of the Tower's past and bring them to life on this after-hours guided tour.

8 and 15 July 2018

Tower of London

18:30 and 19:30

Dancers jump in various poses in front of the White Tower at the Tower of London
Events Highlights

Storm the Tower along with more than 150 performers for a spectacular collision of music and dance this summer, inspired by the communities of East London.

18 July - 22 July 2018

Tower of London

Daily at 19:30

Browse more history and stories

Royal Wedding 2018 official commemorative fine bone china plate

Royal Wedding 2018 official commemorative fine bone china plate

Commemorate the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19th May 2018 with the official commemorative fine bone china plate. Made in England using traditional fine bone china techniques, unchanged for centuries, this collector's plate has been commissioned exclusively by Buckingham Palace to mark the royal occasion.

£49.00

Luxurious soft faux suede cushion featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Queen Elizabeth I portrait cushion

Luxurious soft faux suede cushion featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

£40.00

A fun-packed pop-up book, filled with flaps and fascinating facts about the most famous British kings and queens.

Pop-up Kings and Queens book

A fun-packed pop-up book, filled with flaps and fascinating facts about the most famous British kings and queens.

£6.99