Kew Palace

Attractions , Historic buildings and sites Kew
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Step into royal family life as lived in sophisticated Georgian England and find out who sowed the seeds of the great Kew Gardens

One of the lesser known royal residences in London and only open from spring to autumn each year, Kew Palace is a rare chance to glimpse family life among kings, queens, princes and princesses.

Built by a rich Flemish merchant in 1631, this pretty, red-brick villa was designed as a riverside country residence convenient for London. The house then had a succession of tenants before George II’s wife Caroline spotted the house and deemed it a suitable home for their three eldest daughters when the royal family was in residence at Richmond Lodge nearby.

It was George II’s son, Prince Frederick and later his widow, Augusta, who cultivated and developed the gardens at Kew Palace – today known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. (Entry to the Palace is included in the ticket to Kew Gardens on any visit during its open season.)

Kew Palace really came into its own in the time when Prince George grew up here. When he became George III it was one of his favourite homes for his own family with Queen Charlotte. The king had an observatory installed and Charlotte added to the gardens with a rustic-style cottage which the family used as a picnic retreat. Sure beats a garden shed.

A visit to Kew Palace today includes a chance to see the fashionable Georgian decor of the princesses’ rooms, the Royal Kitchens and artefacts which tell the story of George III’s life, including the times when he was deemed ‘mad’ and stayed here whilst suffering from porphyria.

Curiously, there is a wax bust of George III on display too. It was made in 1996 but it’s cast from the original mould kept at Madame Tussauds. Madame Tussaud herself made the original waxwork ‘from life’, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee in 1810.

Venue name: Kew Palace
Contact:
Address: Kew Gardens
Richmond
TW9 3AB
Opening hours: Open Mar to Oct, 10.30am–5.30pm, last entry 5pm. Queen Charlotte’s Cottage open Sat, Sun and bank holidays 11am–4pm
Transport: Tube: Kew Gardens; Rail: Kew Bridge
Price: Entry included in the ticket price for Kew Gardens
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NakedPRGirl Claire
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I'm going to shout out for the marvellous gardens behind this palace which could get overlooked by the sheer magnitude of Kew Gardens. This quaint palace is super pretty up front but wait until you scurry around to the back and take a look at the perfectly formed gardens. There's lavender all around giving the most delicate fragrance, a decorative well stands tall in the middle, there's white statues of gods standing majestically at the end, there's a birdcage type thing on the hill for fun Instagram photos, there's an archway filled with Laburnum flowers (blooming in May), it has luscious leafy walkways, there's a little fountain and well placed benches to sit and take in the view plus there's a cute little garden with vegetables and herbs. And I haven't even been in the house - imagine how excited I'd be then?! You can visit the gardens with your normal Kew Gardens entry and this special place is one of my faves, it reminds me a little of gardens I've seen in Versailles.