When all the gates are locked and the lights are out, is Kensington Palace truly asleep? Or are the memories of love, loss, and tragedy still echoing through the hushed corridors and empty rooms?
As Kensington Palace celebrates its Victorian heritage this season, step back in time and explore this regal residence and its sinister stories after hours. The palace’s Eerie Evening tours promise a morbid historical journey - guided by lamplight and an expert palace Explainer - starting in the Victoria Revealed exhibition, in the very rooms where a young Princess Victoria herself grew up.
Discover the Victorian morbid fascination with life after death, the increasing popularity of spirituality and the craze for trying to speak with the departed through séances. After Prince Albert’s tragic death, did Victoria herself attempt to contact her beloved husband’s spirit? How did 19th-century mediums attempt to prove their supposed supernatural powers, and how did so many people of all ranks and backgrounds become convinced that conversing with the dead was possible? This tour is certainly not for the squeamish: participants will also explore the common Victorian practice of memento mori; taking photographs with deceased loved ones in a final bid to create a happy family portrait.
Stepping further back in time to the Georgian era, hear about the gruesome medical maladies of residents past, from William III’s fatal horse-riding accident to George II’s depression. See the Privy Chamber where, on blustery October nights, it is said George can be seen staring out at the weathervane as he did in the lonely days just before his death. Does the king’s voice still echo around the empty state rooms after nightfall?
Uncover the truth behind these mysteries and Kensington Palace’s historic royal residents this Halloween and New Year.
For images and more information about the Eerie Evening Tours please contact Rachel Powell in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: Rachel.Powell@hrp.org.uk or 020 3166 6166.