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 (members go free) 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

The King's 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 King's gallery, looking south-west. Showing a Tyvek figure representing King George II dressed in mourning clothes

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

Highlights Things to see

Explore the beautiful private rooms at Kensington Palace that were once used by Queen Mary II for relaxation and sleep.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

A diamond and emerald tiara mounted on a frame on a plain background
Highlights Things to see

Learn about Queen Victoria's long and extraordinary life in her own words at the Victoria Revealed exhibition.

Open daily until 06 January 2019

Kensington Palace

Highlights Things to see

Explore the beautiful private rooms at Kensington Palace that were once used by Queen Mary II for relaxation and sleep.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

Crafted from fine English bone china, this mug features the famous royal unicorn from Kensington Palace gates.

Kensington Palace gates mug

Crafted from fine English bone china, this mug features the famous royal unicorn from Kensington Palace gates.

£35.00

White Tower luxury embroidered hanging decoration features the iconic White Tower with a silhouetted Tower raven perching at the top of the Tower.

White Tower luxury embroidered hanging decoration

This sparkling silver luxury White Tower hanging decoration is hand embroidered using the same metal thread work techniques used to sew royal dresses and finery in centuries past.

£10.99

Kew Palace luxury embroidered hanging decoration, luxury Christmas ornament depicts the Dutch House of Kew Palace which dates back to 1631

Kew Palace luxury embroidered hanging decoration

This luxury handmade Christmas tree decoration features the design of the front of the Dutch House at Kew Palace on the River Thames in south west London.

£29.99