Hi friends, welcome back to my Paris and London Anniversary series 🙂 After exploring Notting Hill and taking a milkshake break, we headed to Kensington Palace. I wanted to see if we could get a glimpse of the front entrance, so we walked down Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the most exclusive and expensive streets in London. This street is home to heiresses, oligarchs, and many embassies including Nepal, France, Lebanon, Norway, and Italy. There are signs all over prohibiting pictures and security guards at the entrance, so I wasn’t taking any chances with my camera. I’d recommend strolling through this mysterious street, it’s very peaceful to walk down and admire the homes. If you’re interested in seeing more, this article has pictures of the homes and more information on the residents. (Picture below is from the article)
Kensington Palace, built in 1605, was the favorite residence of William and Mary of Orange. It was the official Royal Palace from 1689 – 1837 before Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace. More recently the palace was well known for being home to Princess Diana and where she raised Will and Harry. Kensington Palace was also the main residence of Will and Kate before they recently moved to Windsor, but sadly I didn’t have the chance to befriend Kate or catch a glimpse of her adorable children.
The gardens outside are free to explore and include the new Statue of Diana, Princess of Whales. It was unveiled on what would have been her 60th birthday by her two sons. The children around the statue represent the legacy of her charitable work with children.
Queen Victoria memorialized outside her home.
We could take pictures inside Kensington Palace and it was neat to see. They had run out of audio guides, but we managed. One of the rooms had a docent that told funny stories about the inhabitants and life at Kensington. Admission includes access to the King’s and Queen’s State Apartments, the King’s Staircase, and the apartments where Queen Victoria was born and lived until she became Queen. It wasn’t as grand as the other palaces we’d seen on our trip, but it was still cool to walk through.
This was the room Queen Victoria, at only 18 years old, heard that her father had died and she was now Queen. The table shows a reenactment.
After finishing the interior of Kensington Palace, we walked through Kensington Park back towards Buckingham Palace. Kensington Garden spans 265 acres and feels very spacious. For reference, Central Park is over 840 acres. Jon and I were trying to get to our next stop, so we didn’t wander through the park much, and stayed on the quickest path. We enjoyed wandering through the park and seeing everyone out and about on the beautiful day. People were having picnics, playing soccer, reading books, and spending time with friends.
We passed the Albert Memorial commemorating Queen Victoria’s husband who died of typhoid fever at the age of 42.
Eventually Kensington Gardens turns into Hyde Park which covers an additional 350 acres. We saw The Rose Garden in bloom while we were walking and I had to make a pitstop for some pictures. It was so beautiful and peaceful!
I enjoyed the park and walking down Kensington Palace Gardens, but I thought the inside of Kensington Palace was a little underwhelming. I think seeing Versailles, Windsor, and the Napoleon Apartments at the Louvre spoiled us because our expectations are so high now. The gardens and area around Kensington are definitely worth seeing, but you could skip going inside the palace without losing much value.
I’ve got one last post of this trip to share, so stay tuned for the conclusion of our Paris and London anniversary series!
Posts in my Paris and London Anniversary series:
- Day 1 – Saint Chapelle, the Concierge, and Notre Dame
- Day 2 – Palace of Versailles
- Day 2 – Versailles Garden
- Day 2 – Touring the Versailles Summer Homes
- Day 3 – Louvre Museum
- Day 3 – Champs Elysees & Arc de Triomphe
- Day 4 – Montmartre & Sacre Coeur
- Day 4 – Musee d’Orsay & Crepes
- Day 5 – Luxembourg Gardens & Eglise Saint-Eustache
- Day 5 – Going up the Eiffel Tower
- Day 6 – Rodin Museum
- Day 6 – Palais Garnier & Galleries Lafayette