The King’s Gallery

Gallery designed by William Kent to contain the finest paintings of the Royal Collection

Gallery designed by William Kent to contain the finest paintings of the Royal Collection

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Kensington Palace tickets

A striking residence for art

The largest and longest of the state apartments at Kensington Palace, the King's Gallery, looks almost exactly as it did when it was transformed for King George I in 1725.

Red damask, fine oak joinery, a new marble chimneypiece, carved overmantel and new door cases were inserted by William Kent. Kent and his assistants also painted the seven large ceiling canvases which show scenes from the life of Ulysses.

The King's Gallery was used for exercise as well as displaying pictures. At the east end, it is dominated by a copy of van Dyck’s noble portrait of Charles I on horseback.

Secrets of the King's Gallery at Kensington Palace

The gallery was built for William III as an addition to Sir Christopher Wren's original design. It was hung with green velvet and William would meet with his spies and plan military campaigns here.

This room saw many intimate moments. It was here that William played soldiers with his little nephew and intended heir, the Duke of Gloucester. It was also here that the King died from pneumonia after falling from his horse at Hampton Court Palace.

Staying one step ahead

The dial positioned over the gallery's fireplace was connected to a wind vane on the roof. This enabled King William to see which way the wind was blowing, where his navy was likely to be heading and when the posts were likely to arrive. Incredibly, it is still in working order today.

'I particularly like the way the map on the wind dial rather arrogantly shows Great Britain the same size of France. That was wishful thinking – of course it’s much smaller!'

Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator

Explore what's on

The blue and gold vaulted ceiling of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace

Walk in the footsteps of kings and queens at the Chapel Royal, which has been in continuous use for almost 500 years.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Highlights Things to see
A row of suits of armour and wooden horses statues in the Line of Kings exhibition in the White Tower of the Tower of London.

Marvel at historic armour belonging to kings from William the Conqueror to George II in the Line of Kings in the White Tower.

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Tower of London

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Photo of an exhibition at the Young Henry exhibition at Hampton Court Palace

Join William Page as he talks about Conservation repairs to the roofs of the Real Tennis Court and Georgian House

11 June 2018

Hampton Court Palace

Member only

12:00

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