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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

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.

When

Open Wednesday - Sunday

In line with palace opening hours

Ticketing information


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Kensington Palace tickets

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 following the death of his wife, Queen Caroline. Also showing the marble statue, ‘Summer’ by Camillo Rusconi (1658-1728).

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

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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.

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  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
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The King's Staircase

Discover the intriguing and unexpected characters depicted on the grand entrance to the King's State Apartments.

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  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
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The Queen’s State Apartments

Explore the beautiful private rooms at Kensington Palace where Mary II once took her meals, relaxed and entertained.

  • Open Wednesday - Sunday
  • In line with palace opening hours
  • Kensington Palace
  • Included in palace admission (members go free)
Learn more

BROWSE MORE HISTORY AND STORIES

The story of Kensington Palace

An elegant retreat for Britain's royal family

William Kent

Royal artist, architect and designer to Georgian kings

The Georgians

Who were the kings who gave their name to an age?

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