The Orangery is closed, the Palace Cafe remains open for refreshments. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Gallery designed by William Kent to contain the finest paintings of the Royal Collection
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.
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.
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.
The shadow of Henry VIII is gone. Music, dance and fun fill the air. Have you got what it takes to make friends with the old king’s children? And is romance at last in the air for ex-Queen Katherine Parr?
10-18 February 2018
Hampton Court Palace