Kensington Palace is a beautiful Palace in London that is famous across the world, but there are lots of interesting facts surrounding the Palace that you probably don’t know.
From young love affairs to strange architectural plans, here are 6 things you probably didn’t know about Kensington Palace.
1. The Queen’s Staircase Is Much Plainer Than The King’s
When the palace was first built it was deliberately planned that the Queen’s staircase would be plainer than the King’s. You will notice if you visit the Palace that the King’s staircase is extremely grand, featuring beautiful painting and artwork, but the Queen’s is very boring in comparison. This is because Queen Mary needed a functional staircase that gave her access to the botanical gardens that she loved.
2. Queen Victoria Found Her True Passion At The Palace
Queen Victoria is best known for being a strong leader, but she was also a keen artist. She first discovered her love of art at Kensington Palace when she was a child, and she used to love painting stage stars, visiting ladies, her governess and her pet dog Dash.
3. Queen Victoria First Met Albert At Kensington Palace
Queen Victoria and Albert had a world famous love that lasted long after his death, but did you know that the pair first met at Kensington Palace? As a pretty young Princess Victoria had a lot of suitors, but Albert quickly caught her attention. After his first visit to the Palace Victoria wrote to his father, saying that Albert was a kind man with a ‘pleasing and delightful exterior.’ Very romantic!
4. It Wasn’t Always A Palace
The Palace was once a beautiful home, but it first became a palace after a bout of asthma. King William and Queen Mary started to look for a new home in 1689 as they believed that the River Thames was making the King’s asthma worse, and they choose Kensington as they thought the air there was fresher.
5. It Has Been A Palace For Over 300 Years
Now Kensington Palace has been a palace for over 300 years, being home to King William, Queen Mary, Queen Anne, George I, George II and Queen Caroline. Today it is home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their beautiful children.
6. The King’s Gallery Had More Than One Purpose
The King’s Gallery has been used as an art gallery for hundreds of years, but it used to have more than one purpose. Previous Kings also used the room as an exercise room, and if you ever visit you will notice a dial connected to a wind vane near the fireplace that Kings used to use to work out where their navy was.