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The King's State Apartments

Explore these sumptuous set of rooms, each grander than the last.

Explore these sumptuous set of rooms, each grander than the last.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Kensington Palace tickets

Step inside the King's State Apartments

The first thing you will notice about these opulent rooms is that they are surprisingly sparse. This is because unlike domestic rooms, the State Apartments were used for audiences and meetings.

Courtiers and visitors stood in the presence of royalty, so there was no need for the sorts of furniture you normally find in a home.

However, these rooms contain many sculptures and works of art, such as the terracotta busts of George II and his wife Queen Caroline, made by Michael Rysbrack in 1738 and 1739.

The King's Staircase

The King's Staircase is the first link to the circuit of rooms making up the King's State Apartments. All the great and good of Georgian London would have climbed these stairs to visit the King.

The Presence Chamber

The Presence Chamber is where the monarch received courtiers, ministers and foreign ambassadors. The fireplace is surrounded by limewood carvings by Grinling Gibbons. They include cherubs that were originally painted white.

Take a photo on the spot where a magnificent throne canopy would once have been located.

The Privy Chamber

The Privy Chamber was one of Queen Caroline's favourite entertaining spaces. See the magnificent ceiling painted by William Kent in 1723, as well as some impressive tapestries made in the Mortlake Tapestry workshop founded by King Charles I.

The Cupola Room

The Cupola Room is the most splendidly decorated room in the palace. It was the first royal commission of William Kent, the artist and designer who would go on to decorate the rest of the State Apartments and create a distinctive visual style for the Georgian age.

The King's Drawing Room

The King's Drawing Room is the climax of the whole suite of rooms. This is where courtiers would have come in search of power and patronage.

The highlight of this room is the painting of Venus and Cupid by Vasari. Queen Caroline tried to have the painting moved while her husband was away in Hanover. When the King returned he furiously insisted it be put back. It still hangs there today.

The King's Gallery

In the King's Gallery, William III played soldiers with his little nephew and it was here that the King caught the chill that led to his death in 1702.

Explore what's on

Sculpture of a polar bear

Discover the fascinating stories of the many exotic animals kept at the Tower of London and explore how they lived in the Royal Menagerie.

Open daily

Tower of London

Families Things to see
Anne Boleyn looks at the camera under a gloomy sky in front of the White Tower and Battlements of the Tower of London.

Follow the tragic story of Anne Boleyn through her imprisonment, trial and execution at the Tower of London.

6 May – 27 August 2018, Friday-Tuesday

Tower of London

Events

11:00 and 14:00

Illustration of a young girl and a blue and yellow dragon with Kew Pagoda in the background on a wall in an exhibition space

2018 sees the arrival of dragons to Kew Gardens! Find out more in the fantastic new Here Be Dragons exhibition located next to Kew Palace.

Included in Kew Gardens admission ticket

Kew Palace

Events Families

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Luxurious soft faux suede cushion featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Queen Elizabeth I portrait cushion

Luxurious soft faux suede cushion featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

£40.00

A fun-packed pop-up book, filled with flaps and fascinating facts about the most famous British kings and queens.

Pop-up Kings and Queens book

A fun-packed pop-up book, filled with flaps and fascinating facts about the most famous British kings and queens.

£6.99

Inspired by the delft ceramic collection of Queen Mary, this fine bone china tea for one set is perfect for afternoon tea.

Queen Mary delft bone china tea for one

The design of this tea for one set is inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II, a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware.

£75.00