Victoria: A Royal Childhood

When

  • Daily from 24 May 2019

Ticketing information

Buy Kensington Palace tickets online for visits on 24 May 2019 onwards to save 10% on the gate price.

Members preview 23 May (no need to book)

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace.

Opening on 24 May 2019, the 200th anniversary of Victoria’s birth, this new permanent exhibition will explore how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.

The new display will include remarkable objects relating to Victoria’s early years – including a poignant scrapbook of mementos created by her German governess, Baroness Lehzen, which goes on public display for the first time.

Top image: Queen Victoria, when a Girl by Alexandre-Jean Dubois Drahonet, 1832. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Explore history where it happened

Victoria’s early childhood at Kensington Palace was loving, creative and stimulating. Known for her outgoing nature and playful imagination, she was indulged by those around her.

However, as her position as heir became certain, Victoria’s idyllic childhood gave way to the 'Kensington System' — a strict programme designed to control her life, relationships and public image.

Inspired by her love of opera and ballet, the young Princess escaped her increasing sense of isolation into a fantasy world of sketching, painting, doll-making and stories. She grew into an iron-willed young woman and, just five hours after being told she was Queen on the morning of 20 June 1837, she walked into the Red Saloon at Kensington Palace alone to hold her first Privy Council meeting as Queen.

Set in the rooms where Victoria was born, grew up and experienced her first moments as monarch, this new display offers an opportunity to follow in Victoria’s footsteps. Visitors can walk the very corridors where the young Queen Victoria escaped her strict education and family power struggles, to become the first female head of state for more than 120 years.

The East Front Gardens after Kensington Palace renovations looking west towards the East Front, 28 May 2012. 

Part of the Kensington Palace project, ‘Welcome to Kensington - a palace for everyone’, an undertaking over two years (2010-12) of major refurbishments (renovation) at Kensington, including new gardens.
Portrait of Queen Victoria on a green background
Things to see Highlights

Explore Queen Victoria’s private life behind her carefully-managed public image in this major new exhibition at Kensington Palace.

Daily from 24 May 2019

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Highlights Things to see

Wander through the lavish rooms of the King's State Apartments, each one grander than the last, at Kensington Palace.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Two actors dressed in historical costume throw up their hands in horror as part of a Horrible Histories performance. The Horrible Histories logo appears in the background as part of the set.
Events Families

Prepare yourselves for this special one hour production of Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

10-14 August 2019

Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

A selection of the Royal Victoria bone china range displayed in lifestyle setting

Royal Victoria gifts

Exclusively designed for Historic Royal Palaces, our Royal Victoria gifts are inspired by iconic symbols from Queen Victoria's reign.

Prices start from £3.99

The Wildflower crystal and pearl tiara sparkles with florets of crystals and an elaborate foliage design.

Shop jewellery

Choose from our stunning collection of jewellery, including pieces inspired by the palaces and the people who lived in them. These beautiful collections include necklaces, rings, earrings, charm bracelets, bangles and pendants.

Prices start from £0.99

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - light green and white crockery and stationary, a table setting.

Shop afternoon tea gifts and accessories

Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with a design including elements from all our royal palaces, our regal Palace Crest collection or our charming vintage style Palace Rose floral tea set.

Prices start from £2.99