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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


  • Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

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

A live interpreter dressed as a Tudor Lady and a Live Interpreter dressed as a Tudor Gentlemen are kneeling on either side of a padlocked chest in the Great Watching Chamber. They are arguing.

Step into the dangerous declining years of Henry’s VIII’s reign. Choose your enemies, choose your friends, but choose wisely.

Daily until 15 April 2018

Hampton Court Palace

Events Families

11:00, 12:45, 14:30

Join Siobhan Clarke at the Banqueting Hall for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.

21 (sold out) and 27 July (12pm tour sold out) 2018

Banqueting House

Events Member only

Starting promptly in the Undercroft at 10:30 and 12:00

Chief Yeoman Warder carrying the Tower keys

Member-only access to the traditional locking up of the Tower of London, the Ceremony of the Keys.

15 April (sold out), 20 May (sold out), 17 June (sold out), 15 July 2018 (sold out)

Tower of London

Events Member only

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