Victoria: A Royal Childhood

When

  • Daily

Ticketing information

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.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Victoria’s birth, this new permanent exhibition explores how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.

The new display includes 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.

A pale green Victorian bedroom with a large bed and fireplace at Kensington Palace, where Queen Victoria was born

Victoria 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. Walk the very corridors where the young Victoria escaped her strict education and family power struggles to become the first female head of state for more than 120 years.

Image of a theatre-style room showing a decorative Victorian children's theatre and chairs facing towards it. The walls are decorated with a bright red wallpaper

Blog: Researching and redecorating Victoria’s childhood home

Lucy Worsley explains how Historic Royal Palaces curators have interpreted decorative schemes that Victoria would have known as a little girl, as part of the new Victoria: A Royal Childhood exhibition.

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 until 05 January 2020

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)

A floral display reading '200 years' outside the East Front of Kensington Palace, under a bright blue sky and surrounded by formal lawn. The palace is in the background.
Highlights Things to see

Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the beautiful Kensington Palace gardens, and admire the intriguing Sunken Garden.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

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.

From £5.99

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.

From £14.99

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 designs including elements from all our royal palaces.

From £10.00