While my Mom & Chele were visiting in London, one day when my friend Tess was with us we went to Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, which I actually revisited again today! Kensington Palace is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. We took the tube to Hyde Park and walked around the park for about a half hour before getting to the palace.
Kenginston Palace was built in 1605 as a Jacobean mansion, before becoming a royal palace in 1689 under Queen Mary and King William III. The palace has then been used as a Georgian Palace, the home of Queen Victoria when she was young, a home for Princess Margaret and her husband the Earl of Snowdon, and a current home for members of the Royal family in apartments on the property.
Inside the palace, certain rooms are open with the Georgian decoration: paintings covering the walls, and historical garments like the male waist suit & court mantua pictured below. This court mantua is made with cloth of gold that apparently weighs 5kg. When we were going through some of the royal apartments they temporarily had Queen Victoria’s bedroom open to the public.
From the back of the house, there is a beautiful view over Hyde Park. Hyde Park was sooo full of people out walking, jogging, kicking around a soccer ball, playing ultimate frisbee, and cycling. There also playgrounds around for children to play on and little boats you can rent to take out on the Serpentine lake. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen a park so busy in my life.
Currently, at Kensington Palace, they have a special exhibition on all about Princess Diana’s fashion, called Diana her Fashion Story. The exhibition was incredible. The collection of gowns they had on displays were all notable outfits worn by Princess Di, alongside photographs of her wearing the different dresses. Princess Diana was such a fashion icon, so it was fantastic to see fashion sketches that designers created for Diana and she would voice her opinions on what she thought of the design. Designers only had the most positive and wonderful things to say about working with Diana. Speaking from a curatorial persepctive, the gowns were displayed so beautifully on an exact cutout of plastic instead of using a manequin.
Outisde of the castle there are the Sunken Gardens, which are really lovely. The gardens were planted in 1908 as an oriental garden. It is the location of where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their engagement photos done. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have my engagements photos done here some day too!
Kensington Palace is a lovely palace to go through and spend a couple of hours. What is so nice about is it’s not a full day investment and it is right in London, simple and easy to get to. Right now it’s less than an hour walk from my flat, how great is that? Plus there are members of the Royal family who still live on the property (like Kate & William) so if you are lucky maybe you will catch a glimpse of them!