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Queen Charlotte's Drawing Room

The Grandest room in Kew Palace

The Grandest room in Kew Palace

Queen Charlotte’s Drawing Room was the principal, and largest, room in Kew Palace. As well as spending time with her daughters, Charlotte would have greeted politicians, doctors and other guests here for meetings, while her husband George III received treatment in the rooms below. She would have spent most time here in 1801 and 1804. 

On display is Charlotte’s beautiful tea set, reflecting the fact that this was designed as a family sitting room – and a scene of both joy and sadness for the royal family. Guests might have been greeted with tea or music recitals by the Queen, her daughters or invited musicians. 

In 1818, the ailing Queen was also present in this room for the double royal wedding of her sons William, Duke of Clarence and Edward, Duke of Kent. The latter match led to the birth of the future Queen Victoria.

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A Room Filled With Music

The focus of the room is on music in the form of the instruments collected by George II. The collection includes a harpsicord by Schudi, which was enjoyed by George III and his family. You can hear this very harpsicord being played in the background as you experience this room. Schudi was a Swiss maker who established one of the leading London keyboard instrument workshops.  

Both George and Charlotte were keen and capable harpsichord players; they held weekly private concerts at their palaces, including Kew. 

As she anxiously waited for news of her husband’s treatment in the years following George’s decline in 1811, it’s possible that these objects reminded Charlotte of happier times when she would play the harpsicord for her husband. 

Fashionable Italian Paintings

Standing in Queen Charlotte’s Drawing Room, take a moment to admire the fashionable Italian paintings – collected by George III from Consul Smith, a patron of Canaletto. Smith’s is one of the single most important art collections in the Royal Collection and George's acquisition of these works highlights his love of culture. 

The Double Wedding of 1818

Here, William, Duke of Clarence (the future William IV) married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen; and Edward, Duke of Kent married Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld – a match that would produce the future Queen Victoria. 

Queen Charlotte was suffering from dropsy and was too ill to travel far from the palace; a double wedding took place here in the Drawing Room instead. 

As you stand in this room today, take a moment to imagine this scene of two royal brides –Adelaide shimmering in a dress of elegant silver tissue and Victoria in 'very rich and elegant gold tissue’ – their grooms and the temporary altar, all brought together in Queen Charlotte’s Drawing Room so she could be present. 

EXPLORE WHAT'S ON

  • Tours and talks

Queen Charlotte: A Kew Palace Story Tour

Get to know Queen Charlotte more closely in the intimate setting of Kew Palace, in our brand-new tour.

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  • Kew Palace
  • Separate ticket
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  • Things to see

Queen Charlotte's Bedroom and Ante-room

See Queen Charlotte's bedroom and dressing room where the Queen spent her final months - now including the wig from Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.

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  • Kew Palace
  • Included in Kew Gardens admission
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  • Things to see

Queen Charlotte's Cottage

Discover a queen's rustic country retreat in the grounds of Kew Palace with a visit to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.

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  • Kew Palace
  • Included in Kew Gardens admission
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BROWSE MORE HISTORY AND STORIES

Queen Charlotte

Wife of George III and mother to 15 children

George III, the Complex King

Dutiful, intelligent and cultured, but cruelly labelled ‘mad’

The story of Kew Palace

Britain's smallest royal palace and George III's private retreat

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