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

The Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace
Events Families

The palace is a flurry of activity ahead of Henry VIII's marriage treaty with Anne of Cleves. But will the King's mood upset weeks of planning?

29 June - 02 September 2018, Thursday- Monday

Hampton Court Palace

11:30, 12:30 and 15:30

Fountain Court, looking west. The courtyard fountain can just be seen through an archway on the left.
Member only Tours and talks

Get an expert’s guide of what there is to see and do at each palace with one of our State Apartment Warders at Hampton Court.

2 August, 1 September, 27 September 2018

Hampton Court Palace

11:00 and 14:00

View of the Maze at Hampton Court Palace
Families Highlights

Lose yourself in the most famous maze in the world. The Hampton Court Maze is still baffling visitors after 300 years.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Designed exclusively for Historic Royal Palaces as part of the Enlightened Princesses exhibition at Kensington Palace. This luxury butterfly paper folding fan is based on an original fan in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection at Historic Royal Palaces.

Luxury cream butterfly folding hand fan

This luxury butterfly paper folding fan is based on an original fan in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection at Historic Royal Palaces dated c. 1870-1890.

£14.99

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 19 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