Pages

Saying Hello To Will, Kate and George at Kensington Palace

Continuing on my tour of British Royal Residences, I was able to spend a couple of hours in Kensington Palace. While the Queen certainly favors Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace as her official residences, Kensington Palace was the long-time home of Princess Diana and currently serves as home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) and their son, George.

High Street Kensington Station

* Some nice and quaint-looking buildings greeted us upon exiting the High Street Kensington tube station. It soon became apparent that we were walking along a more affluent side of town!


Kensington Palace

* Built in 1605, Kensington Palace was once a mansion known as Nottingham House, which was purchased by the joint-monarchs King William III and Queen Mary II in 1689 to help with William's bad asthma.

Kensington Palace

* Looking quite unassuming next to the more stately Buckingham and imposing Windsor, Kensington is however, the most inviting and homey of all the palaces that I have been to. No wonder it is the favorite among current, modern royals.

Kensington Palace

* The main exhibition hall inside the Palace showcases the life and work of Queen Victoria. Having ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901, Victoria's rule of 63 years is currently the longest of any female monach in history, and is known as the Victorian era.

Queen Victoria Gowns

* The Victorian Era was a long period of peace, prosperity, national pride and refined sensibilities for Britain. So vast was Queen Victoria's influence that all the major players of World War I: King George V of Great Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Tsar Nicholas II were all first-cousin, grandchildren of Victoria. Currently, the royal lines occupying the the thrones of Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK are all descended from this amazing Queen.

Kensington Palace residents

Portraits of the modern-day royals who have lived or are living here decorate the hallways. Kensington is also the official home / party house / bachelor playground of Prince Harry.

Kensington Palace King Apartments

* The personal highlight of this visit was entering the King's State Apartments via the King's Staircase. Painted by William Kent back in 1724, the whole place was supposed to be a recreation of King George I's court in Hanover, Germany.

Kensington Palace King Apartments

King George I was the German Duke of Hanover, who at the age of 54 and after the death of his distant relative, Queen Anne of Great Britain, ascended to the British throne. Why was George I made King instead of all the other relatives who had more claim to the throne? Because George I was a Protestant, while everyone else in line was Catholic!

Kensington Palace King Apartments

* The King's Gallery contains a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and other works of art and craftsmanship. It's no Versailles nor Buckingham, but the place still manages to convey a feeling of elegant majesty!

Kensington Palace Queen Apartments

* The Queen's State Apartments were cozy, private rooms used by Queen Mary II for relaxation. Today, the rooms have been converted into an interactive display for children.

Kensington Palace Queen Apartments

* Including this collection of creepy, old dolls who want nothing but to steal men's souls..

Kensington Palace Queen Apartments

* And this weird display of artifacts containing hidden speakers, where random conversations between ancient gossipers and courtesans are played on loop.

Princess Diana Gowns

* As an added feature for the throngs of Princess Diana fans who undoubtedly come here to see the place where their idol lived, there is a gallery dedicated to all her dresses and gowns, as well as those belonging to Queen Elizabeth II herself and her sister, Princess Margaret.

Kensington Palace

* Finally, one cannot visit Kensington without admiring its very photogenic gardens. Along with this grand statue of Queen Victoria, the Gardens also feature the Diana Memorial Playground, a mini amusement park for children.

Persian Cuisine

* After a whole morning of walking and sight-seeing, I found myself craving for some good Mediterranean cuisine!

Persian Cuisine

* Fortunately, along with really good Chinese food, London also has a very good selection of Persian/Syrian/Lebanese/Turkish cuisine! This juicy Kebab and beer combination sealed the deal for me.

Share this:

CONVERSATION

0 comments:

Post a Comment