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Kew Palace

Transport yourself back in time to discover the 17th-century elegance of Kew Palace or the rustic charm of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.

Kew Palace is a historic royal residence located in Kew Gardens, London. It was initially built as a private mansion. 

The palace is known for its elegant Georgian architecture and picturesque surroundings. 

Visit the Kew Palace to learn about its rich history and its royal residents, including King George III and Queen Charlotte. 

The palace offers special events throughout the year. It’s a must-visit destination for those interested in British royal history and architecture.

Note: Get access to Kew Palace with your basic entry ticket to Kew Gardens. Buy your ticket now to explore this historic royal residence!

Snapshot

Opening Hours: From 29 March 2024

Location inside Kew: Near the Hive and the Orangery

Closest Entry Gate: Elizabeth Gate

Map: Kew Palace

History of Kew Palace

The Kew Palace is the oldest building within the Gardens. It was King George III’s summer residence in the 18th century. 

Originally called the Dutch House, it was built in 1631 for Samuel Fortrey, a wealthy Flemish merchant. 

Later, the house was taken over by the royal family. King George III received his education here during a time that greatly impacted his reign as new ideas in science, art, and manufacturing emerged.

As king, he preferred the tranquility of his country estates over court life, often spending joyful summers at Kew Palace with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children. 

However, these joyful times were often overshadowed by King George’s struggles with mental illness, which plagued him from 1789 until a regency was declared in 1811. 

Despite the distressing circumstances, the royal family cherished the domestic intimacy of the house and the beauty of the historic gardens.

The Queen continued to find solace in her ‘beloved Kew’ until her passing at the Kew Palace in 1818.

After Queen Charlotte died, Kew Palace was closed to the public.

The Kew Palace Queen Charlotte’s Cottage

Kew Palace Queen Charlotte's Cottage
Image: Wikipedia.org

The Queen Charlotte’s Cottage is situated at the far end of the Gardens and is nestled within one of London’s most beautiful bluebell woods, some dating back over 300 years.

Originally built as a royal retreat, it later became a beloved home for Queen Charlotte.

Adjacent to the cottage lies a paddock that once housed an array of exotic animals, including black swans, buffaloes, and the now-extinct quagga, along with England’s first kangaroos. 

Acquired by Kew in 1898, the cottage and the palace were opened to the public for the first time. 

With its quaint interiors and beautiful surroundings, exploring the cottage provides a glimpse into the lives of royalty in the 18th century.

Today, these historic buildings are under the care of Historic Royal Palaces, welcoming visitors to explore their fascinating history.

Note: Purchase your Kew Gardens tickets to step into the past and discover the charm of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.

Architecture and Restoration: A Closer Look at Kew Palace

Kew Palace has 22 rooms, staircases, a vaulted cellar dating back to its Tudor predecessor, and a spacious attic. Each room holds unique historical treasures. 

For example, Princess Elizabeth’s Bedroom on the northwest side revealed a fascinating historical sequence during restoration. 

It was once adorned with 1960s wallpaper, exposing layers of historical decor upon removal, including 19th-century bright green and yellow colors over 17th-century brick, plaster, and timber. 

You can admire well-preserved 17th and 18th-century paneling throughout the palace, some still displaying original paint schemes like bright pink and beige.

Even small details like locks, hinges, and stair railings offer glimpses into Palace Kew’s rich past.

The interior of Kew Palace underwent restoration, recreating 19th-century rooms with handcrafted wallpapers and textile furnishings. 

This meticulous restoration process was achieved through extensive research and analysis of the building’s history.

Things to see at the Kew Palace

Do you love to explore ancient palaces and uncover their pasts? At Kew Palace, you can satisfy your curiosity by exploring a range of captivating attractions.

The Great Pagoda

The Great Pagoda
Image: Kew.org

The Great Pagoda, an iconic landmark at Kew Gardens, is a stunning architectural masterpiece that dates back to the 18th century. 

This ten-story pagoda is adorned with 80 brightly colored wooden dragons, and visitors can climb to the top for breathtaking views of London.

The Royal Kitchens

Adjacent to Kew Palace, the royal kitchens stand as a remarkable testament to history, remaining remarkably preserved even two centuries after their last use.

Kitchen Garden

Step into the little kitchen garden where neatly arranged vegetable beds are laid between gravel paths, and fruit trees climb the walls. 

This glimpse into the past offers a taste of the grand Georgian kitchen gardens that once thrived alongside Kew Road, showcasing the scale and beauty of this historic era.

Madame Tussaud bust of George III

The wax cast displayed at Kew Palace was created between 1996 and 1997 using an original mold preserved at Madame Tussauds’. 

It was carefully painted to reflect the likeness of the King. 

Princesses’ bedrooms

Princesses’ bedrooms
Image: Picturethisuk.org

Princess Elizabeth had her bedroom on the first floor. It has been fully restored and includes her flamboyant Grecian couch bed. 

It sits adjacent to her mother’s, symbolizing her role as a mediator during family tensions.

The bedrooms of Princess Augusta and Princess Amelia on the second floor are partially restored. It showcases traces of original features like verditer wallpaper and a Gothic fireplace.

Queen Charlotte’s Chair

Queen Charlotte’s Chair
Image: Kew.org

Queen Charlotte passed away in her bedroom at Kew Palace on November 17, 1818, at the age of 74. The queen had been suffering from a condition called dropsy.

Queen Victoria, her granddaughter, requested that the room be preserved exactly as it was during Queen Charlotte’s lifetime. 

A plaque on the side of the fireplace in the Queen’s Bedroom commemorates this request.

Events at Kew Palace

Once the cherished family home of King George III, Queen Charlotte, and their children, Kew Palace stands as a prestigious event venue in London. 

Its captivating red-brick villa, surrounded by lush gardens and adorned with lavish interiors, offers an exquisite backdrop for celebratory dinners and intimate drink receptions.

Treat your guests to an unforgettable dining experience at this historic Grade I-listed venue, where its cozy charm has endured through the centuries. 

What better way to mark your special occasion than in such a remarkable setting?

The table below provides details on the Kew Palace standing capacity so that you can easily plan your event accordingly:

VenueStanding Capacity
The Queen’s Gardens60
Kew Kitchens60
Kew Kitchen Gardens60
The King’s Dining Room40

Proximity and Entry Point

The nearest entrance to the Kew Palace is the Elizabeth Gate. 

Elizabeth Gate is only 0.8 km away from Kew Bridge station, while Kew Pier for river bus services is just 0.5 km away. 

For further details on how to reach Kew Gardens, please refer to our article on how to reach Kew Gardens.

If you enter through the Elizabeth Gate, you will discover the Hive, Princess Wales Conservatory, and the Children’s Garden in close proximity.

Nearby Restaurants and Restroom Facilities

Are you feeling hungry after exploring the Kew Gardens? Treat yourself to delicious food at one of the restaurants inside the gardens! 

Indulge your taste buds with a variety of dining options near the Kew Gardens Palm House:

The Orangery (Near Elizabeth Gate):

  • Start your day here with some light snacks, coffee, and delightful breakfast options
  • Open from 10 am to 3 pm
  • Breakfast from 10 am to 11 am 
  • Hot meals from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm

Botanical Brasserie and Victoria Plaza Café (Near Victoria Gate):

  • Head to this cafĂ© offering cakes, sandwiches, and afternoon tea for a sweet treat or a satisfying lunch
  • Open daily from 10 am to 3 pm

Pavilion Bar and Grill (Near Lion Gate):

  • Ideal for burger and Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts, offers indoor seating and an outdoor terrace
  • Open from 10 am to 3 pm

The Family Kitchen (Near Brentford Gate):

  • Perfect for families with its whimsical Alice in Wonderland theme
  • Features an ice cream booth, salad bar, artisan sandwich station, and more
  • Open daily from 10 am to 2 pm

Kew Palace Map

Kew Palace map
Image: Kew.org

Faq’s

How far is Kew Palace from Buckingham Palace?

Kew Palace and Buckingham Palace are both located in London, United Kingdom. 

The distance between Kew Palace and Buckingham Palace is approximately 8 miles (or about 13 kilometers) by road, depending on the specific route taken. 

How long does it take to visit Kew Palace?

The amount of time needed to visit Kew Palace can vary depending on individual interests. 

A typical visit to Kew Palace may last around 1-2 hours, including time to explore the palace’s rooms and exhibits.

Is Kew Palace wheelchair accessible?

Yes, Kew Palace is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and elevators provided to ensure that visitors with mobility impairments can access the palace and gardens.

Can visitors access the gardens at Kew Palace?

Yes, visitors to Kew Palace can explore the surrounding gardens and grounds, which include beautifully landscaped gardens, lawns, and walking paths.

Featured Image: Wikipedia.org

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