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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.