Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British royal family since the 17th century, and is currently the official London residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Today, the State Rooms are open to the public and managed by the independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, a nonprofit organisation that does not receive public funds. The offices and private accommodation areas of the palace remain the responsibility of the Royal Household and are maintained by the Royal Household Property Section. The palace also displays many paintings and other objects from the Royal Collection.

Kensington Palace contains many public and private apartments and residences within the building and its grounds. The palace houses fifty total residents. Aside from royals, it also hosts members of the military, courtiers, staff, and citizens who pay market rent.

King and Queen's State Apartments

The King's and Queen's State Apartments are state rooms and private apartments historically used by various monarchs and consorts. The King's State Apartments were used for diplomatic audiences and meetings, described as "opulent" and "surprisingly sparse". The Queen's State Apartments were a domestic residence typically used by consorts to live in and entertain. The state apartments were first opened to the public in 1899. The museum closed intermittently during the conflicts of the First and Second World Wars before reopening permanently in 1949.

The entryway to the King's State Apartments is marked by the King's Staircase, decorated with a painting by William Kent depicting George I's royal court, completed in 1974. The apartment possess several reception rooms: The Presence Chamber, featuring a limewood fireplace where the monarch received ministers, The Privy Chamber, one of Queen Caroline's favourite entertaining spaces, The Cupola Room, described as the "most splendidly decorated room in the palace", also by Kent, and the King's Drawing Room, where courtiers would come "in search of power and patronage", featuring a copy of Venus and Cupid by Giorgio Vasari, which Caroline attempted to have removed to no avail. The King's Gallery, built for William III, is decorated with red accents and golden ornaments, used for exercise and displaying paintings. Featuring numerous works by Kent, it also hosts Charles I at the Hunt by Anthony van Dyck.

The Queen's State Apartments consist of the rooms where Mary II and later royal consorts resided. The Queen's Staircase is "deliberately plainer" than its counterpart, accessible to the gardens. The Queen's Gallery, built in 1693, was previously filled with Turkish carpets and oriental artifacts, designed as a place for Mary to fulfill "simple pastimes such as walking, reading, and needlework." The Queen's Dining Room is where Mary and William would take their meals together in private, featuring 17th-century paneling. The Queen's Drawing Room features decor from China and Japan, and features William and Mary's intertwined monogram carved into the crown molding. Mary's bedroom, where she entertained friends, is also included in the apartments.

Apartment 1

Apartment 1 is a royal residence located in the southwest wing of the palace.[46] During its vacancy from 1939 and 1955, it was divided into two, with a separate Apartment 1 and Apartment 1A within the space. The apartment has 21 rooms and a walled garden, as well as adjoining doors to Apartment 1A. It has been described as a "lovely big apartment"; Apartment 1 is the second-biggest residence in the palace. Previous interior rooms have included the "sizable" library of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, and the sculpting studio of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.

Apartment 1A

Apartment 1A is a royal residence, covering four storeys, with twenty rooms total. It has five reception rooms, each with fireplaces, as well as three bedrooms, dressing rooms and two nurseries. The upper level has nine staff bedrooms, while the basement holds a luggage room, gym, and laundry quarters. There are three kitchens, one for family use and two for the staff. The residence overlooks a large, walled-in garden, hidden from public view in the palace's museum wing by frosted windows. The entrance hall has intricate crown moulding and black-and-white tiling. The apartment features art and furnishings from the Royal Collection. The Duchess of Cambridge also decorated the space with furniture from IKEA, with the interior featuring "warm beiges and floral pillows", gold trim upholstery, and detailed carpeting.

Apartments 8 & 9

Apartments 8 & 9 are two conjoined chambers situated on the northern-most section of the main palatial building.[56] The apartment covers three storeys. During its use as a residence, the two-room nursery covered the entirety of the top floor; other spaces included two reception rooms: a drawing room doubling as Diana's office, a sitting room with a television, and a formal dining room. In 1981, the apartments were combined to create a family home for Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. The residence had a helicopter pad, and many outdoor gardens, including one on the roof and a greenhouse where the family spent many hours. Diana decorated the residence in "bold patterns and lush fabrics", as well as floral wallpaper and a mix of modern and antique furniture, upholstered with golden laquer. From 1997, the apartments have been used as office space for various groups, charities, and staff.

Apartment 10

Apartment 10 is a residence situated in the north-east section of the palace, in the public gardens. The three-storey apartment holds five bedrooms and five reception rooms. Former tenant Princess Margaret described it as "the doll's house".

Wren House

Named for architect Christopher Wren, Wren House residence near a cluster of cottages on the grounds of the palace, located north of the main building. It has five bedrooms and five reception rooms. The cottage covers two-storeys, and has been noted as one of the more modest residences within the palace. Wren House is said to have the "best view" of the palace's walled gardens.

Nottingham Cottage

Nottingham Cottage is a residence near a cluster of cottages on the grounds of the palace, located north of the main building. Described as a "cosy property", it contains two bedrooms, two reception rooms, and a small garden.

Ivy Cottage

Ivy Cottage is a residence near a cluster of cottages on the grounds of the palace, located north of the main building. The cottage holds three bedrooms. While in residence, Princess Eugenie was reported to renovated the residence and "brightened the cottage up with lots of pops of colour" and various art pieces.

Old Stables

The Old Stables is a residence near a cluster of cottages on the grounds of the palace, located north of the main building. During Sir Tommy Lascelles' occupation, it was described as "lavishly decorated". During the residence of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, the house was decorated with "old wooden furniture" and "bright turquoise walls".

King's Kitchen Cottages and the Upper Lodge

The King's Kitchen Cottages and Upper Lodge make up staff residences.


The Kensington Palace Chapel was built in the 1830s, used for private family services and occasions. Described as the "heart" of the palace, it was converted into residential space before being restored as a chapel by a conservation company in 2002. The space is approximately 9 meters long, including a "variety of antique features" and oak wall panelling. Renaissance era art pieces from the Royal Collection adorn the room, alongside a 19th-century brass hung chandelier. Family events that have taken place at the chapel include the 2004 wedding of Lady Davina Windsor, and the 2015 christening of Isabella Windsor, daughter of Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Frederick Windsor,.

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