Highlights / General details
Kensington Palace's State Apartments are now the Enchanted Palace - all previous displays and rooms are closed due to the building works. Although the experience is very different to what you may expect of a historic building, these are still rooms where history happened.
Whilst building works close parts of the palace, only the State Apartments remain open, completely transformed into the Enchanted Palace - not a traditional experience! Explore the historic rooms filled with stunning cutting-edge modern art and fashion installations inspired by the seven princesses who lived here.
Come and stand in the very bedroom in which, in the early hours of 20 June 1837, the young Princess Victoria awoke to the news that she was to be queen. During Enchanted Palace this room is called 'The Room of a Sleeping Princess'. The display is inspired by Victoria's constrained childhood here at Kensington Palace.
The walls and ceilings of the King's Grand Staircase, or the Room of Flight as it is called within Enchanted Palace, are painted with William Kent’s vivid portrayals of George I’s court and its characters. Vivienne Westwood's vibrant and striking dress is displayed on the stairs.
This fine bed is called the ‘Warming Pan Bed’. Discover its connection to the ‘Glorious Revolution’, in which James II was deposed from the throne. During Enchanted Palace this room is called 'The Room of Royal Sorrows' and explores the tragic story of Mary II.
The Cupola Room (called the Room of Palace Time within Enchanted Palace) sits at the very heart of the palace and was the central room of the State Apartments. Its ornate decorative scheme includes a series of gilded lead statues representing Roman Gods and Goddesses. However, the stunning fashion installations for Enchanted Palace now steal the show in this room.
This exciting new permanent exhibition will explore Queen Victoria's life and reign through her own words. Opening on 26 March 2012 visitors will experience Victoria's first day as Queen at Kensington Palace, the romance of her early relationship with Prince Albert, moments of family life and aspects of Albert's involvement in the 1851 Great Exhibition. Set within the rooms Victoria lived as a child, the displays will include paintings by Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Sir Edwin Landseer, gifts that Queen Victoria exchanged with Prince Albert during their engagement in 1839 and her wedding dress. Glamorpus jewelry, poignant mourning clothes and other personal items will sit alongside replica Victorian children's toys, try-on clothing and fun interactives for all visitors.
An elegant and evocative new display of dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales will include items which have never before been exhibited in the UK. This stylist-designed installation will form part of the permanent displays at Kensington Palace. It will explore elements of the Princess' style from the early 1980s onward and will include dressed by some of her favourite designers.
On 22 June 1897 millions of people from around the world lined the streets of London to watch Queen Victoria make her way across the city in an impressive procession for a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. The service marked sixty years of Victoria's reign and as one of the choir boys singing on the day remarked in his diary it was 'most important day in the annals of past history'.
This temporary exhibition will run until the end of October and explore the public excitement, anticipation and participation with Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, looking at the experiences of everyone from dukes to labourers. This rich and engaging exhibition will showcase a range of spectacular loan objects from souvenir perfume and ceramics to dress worn for the celebrations.
Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection; The King's gallery; The King's staircase; Diana, fashion and style exhibition; Queen Victoria's bedroom.
Food and Beverages; Transportation.
Hours of operation
Summer: Daily 10:00am - 6:00pm, Shop and Orangery 10:00am - 6:00pm. Last admission is at 5:00pm.
Winter: Daily 10:00am - 5:00pm, Shop and Orangery 10:00am - 5:00pm. Last admission is at 4:00pm.
Will be closed on December 24 - 26, and January 26 - 30
Children under the age of 15 are free with a paying adult.
**All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**