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Kew Palace 2024

Queen Charlotte wig from hit Shondaland and Netflix series to be displayed in her real home at Kew Palace

Kew Palace reopens on 29 March 2024

From the end of March, a wig worn by Golda Rosheuvel in Shondaland and Netflix’s hit series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is set to go on display at Kew Palace, bringing contemporary relevance to the rooms where the real Queen Charlotte spent her final months.

The bold grey wig with accompanying tiara, which was worn in the series, will be showcased in Queen Charlotte’s dressing room, alongside a lock of the real Queen Charlotte’s hair. Created by the award-winning team of Hair & Make-Up Designer Nic Collins, with Assistant Designer Giorgio Galliero, the wig is one of several spectacular pieces created for the series to reflect the styles of the Georgian era, as well as being a celebration of Black hair. Fans of the show will have the chance to see this talked-about hairpiece in context within the private rooms where Queen Charlotte herself spent precious time away from the royal court with her family, and to learn about the real history of the woman recently popularised by Netflix’s Bridgerton series.

Having seen King George III and Queen Charlotte’s love story play out on screen, visitors can join daily 30 minute Queen Charlotte: A Kew Palace story tours during their visit to learn more about the true history of this famous figure. Walking in the footsteps of these Georgian royals, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the stories behind the screen like never before in their intimate family home.

Kew Palace is the smallest of all the royal palaces in London and was built for a wealthy silk merchant in 1631 before being leased to George II and Queen Caroline in the 1720s as a private, domestic setting for their family. Once a place for summer relaxation and family life, Kew later became a secluded refuge for George III as he suffered from periods of mental and physical illness. Queen Charlotte died in her bedroom at the palace in November 1818.

As they explore Kew Palace, visitors will also have the opportunity to see a variety of objects relating to the royal children of George III and Queen Charlotte, including an intricate dolls house from the 1780s, likely created by their daughters and a letter from George III to his son indicating the start of his illness in 1788. New for this year is a puzzle map of Italy created by the royal governess in 1765 to teach the children geography, which may have had the place names written onto it by one of the young royals.

Polly Putnam, Collections Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said, “The Bridgerton universe has introduced the character of Queen Charlotte to a huge new audience and it’s thrilling to display such an amazing object from the series in Queen Charlotte’s dressing room, a room where her actual wigs would have been prepared and put on. We are so pleased to be able to show this incredible wig alongside other treasured objects that reveal the lives of historic royals who made Kew their home.”

During their visit to Kew Gardens, visitors can venture across the grounds to climb the 253 steps of the Great Pagoda, a 50 metre tall structure designed by Sir William Chambers in 1762 as a birthday gift for Princess Augusta, George III’s mother. For the first time, visitors to the gardens in receipt of universal credit and certain other financial means tested benefits will be able to purchase a £1 ticket to explore the Great Pagoda and enjoy its stunning views across West London.

During weekends and bank holidays, visitors can also explore Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, a favourite spot of the Georgian royals for taking tea during walks in the gardens, where the first kangaroos in England were once kept and bred in the adjoining paddock. For a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes while the cottage is closed to the public, brand new private tours will be available to book from 22 April onwards.

Kew Palace, the Royal Kitchens, the Great Pagoda, and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage within Kew Gardens are cared for by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity. Entry to Kew Palace, the Royal Kitchens, and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage is included in standard admission to Kew Gardens, subject to opening hours, while there is a small additional fee to climb the Great Pagoda.

Notes to editors

For further information and images please contact the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office via [email protected] / 020 3166 6166

Access to Kew Palace, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and the Royal Kitchens is included with a ticket to Kew Gardens, subject to opening hours.

Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens

Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens are open daily from 11.00 – 16.00

Queen Charlotte: A Kew Palace story runs daily at 14.00 for 30 minutes. Tickets are free for HRP members, or cost £5 for non-members, and can be booked on arrival at Kew Palace.

Queen Charlotte’s Cottage

Queen Charlotte’s Cottage is open on weekends and bank holidays only from 11:30 – 15:30.

Private tours of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage are bookable from 29 March and are available Monday – Sunday at 15.30, lasting 45 minutes. A ticket to Kew Gardens is required, and private tours of the cottage can be booked separately for £30 per person from the Historic Royal Palaces website.

The Great Pagoda

Tickets for the Great Pagoda can be purchased online in advance via the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew website.

Ticket Type

Price

Standard entry to the Great Pagoda - Adult

£4.50

Standard entry to the Great Pagoda - Child

£3.00

£1 ticket for those in receipt of Universal Credit and other financially means tested benefits

£1.00

Historic Royal Palaces Members

Free

 

A 10% discount is available for members of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Historic Royal Palaces is a team of people who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world. We create space for spirits to stir and be stirred. We want everyone to feel welcome and accepted. We tell stories about the monarchs you know and the lives you don’t. We let people explore and we set minds racing. We are a charity and your support gives the palaces a future, for everyone. 

Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections and scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation, and sustainable development in the UK and around the globe. Kew’s scientists and partners lead the way in the fight against biodiversity loss and finding nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, aided by five key scientific priorities outlined in Kew’s Science Strategy 2021-2025. Kew Gardens is also a major international and top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of historic, landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden and ‘living laboratory’, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world and a safeguard against the disastrous effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. RBG Kew received approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needs to support RBG Kew’s vital scientific and educational work comes from donors, memberships and commercial activity including ticket sales. For tickets, please visit www.kew.org/kew-gardens/visit-kew-gardens/tickets. Since implementing a new accessibility scheme for those in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Legacy Benefits, Kew has welcomed over 50,000 visitors with £1 tickets.

 

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Join us for a quiet session in Kew Palace, a calmer experience for those living with or caring for someone with Autism or those who have any other sensory needs, and their families and carers.

  • 29 June, 17 July, 21 August and 22 September
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Take advantage of this rare opportunity to join a members-only evening tour of Kew Palace. Led by an expert guide in full Georgian attire, explore the palace, undercroft and attics when the palace is usually closed to visitors.

  • 06 June, 18 July, 08 August and 05 September 2024
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  • Separate ticket (advance booking required)
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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.

  • Daily
  • 14:00 (tours last 30 minutes)
  • Kew Palace
  • Separate ticket
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Wife of George III and mother to 15 children

George III

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

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

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