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Kew Palace

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Kew
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Kew Palace
1/3
Kew Palace
2/3
Kew Palace
3/3

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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.

By: Laura Lee Davies

Posted:

Details

Address: Kew Gardens
Richmond
TW9 3AB
Transport: Tube: Kew Gardens; Rail: Kew Bridge
Price: Entry included in the ticket price for Kew Gardens
Contact:
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
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Users say (3)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Tastemaker

The history of this building is fascinating! Before visiting, I really didn’t know there used to be a royal palace in Kew. I won’t spoil too much, but it has seen George II and George III.


The house itself however is a bit bare and even the staff in period costume doesn’t manage to bring life to it. The garden is very cute if slightly on the smaller side (especially when you’re comparing to the rest of Kew).


When visiting Kew Gardens, I’d highly recommend you go. You’re already in the park anyway! Sure it isn’t grandiose but is worth a little detour.


The house is cared for by an independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, which receives no funding from the Government or the Crown. So do spare a coin or two. I know it’s hard after the expensive entrance ticket to Kew Gardens, but it will help the preservation of this house.

tastemaker

Kew Palace is a wondrous world of historic beauty on its own. Compared to the huge Kew Gardens, Kew Palace is definitely a small contribution to this beautiful world of Kew.

It may be quite small, but don't be fooled by its curious nature.

Kew Palace is definitely an attraction not to be missed when in Kew. It's absolutely gorgeous and architecturally captivating.

You can't miss it with its red, orange coloured exterior. Looks like a cute dolls house to me.

Kew Palace was one of the attractions that stood out when I went.

The story around this quirky, charming, old-fashioned palace is remarkable. Since the 18th century, George III and his family lived in Kew Palace. You'll discover three floors of the most surprising rooms and unusual stories of life.

The ground floor introduces you into the life of George III and his family. The first floor displays luxurious bedrooms and rooms filled with the most inquisitive objects and detailed furniture. I felt that this floor definitely felt a little dark. It reflected George III's mental illness.

Moving to the top floor you'll find a library, elegant dressing rooms and bedrooms.

One thing that I found so interesting was that the top floor has laid untouched for almost two centuries.

Don't forget to see Queen Charlotte's Cottage which was built in 1771 and the Royal Kitchens at Kew, another peculiarity.

The Queen's Garden is one of the most memorable moments of my time at Kew. It's right behind Kew Palace. It's so ravishingly refreshing and just splendid.

I recommend seeing the medicinal plants. You can find all kinds of plants, flowers and remedies.

I loved adventuring around this sweet garden of pure nature. It's almost hidden, but when you do find it, you won't want to leave. The Queen's Garden is an adorable adventure waiting to be unveiled.

This is definitely one of my favourite attractions at Kew Gardens.

I highly recommend everyone to visit such an enchanting attraction like the Kew Palace and gardens.

#TOTastemaker

Love MD.

Tastemaker

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.

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