Monday, 12 December 2016

Palaces in the Snow: Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace beneath a blanket of snow
(photo Sandpiper via Wiki Commons)

Its walls are filled with famous royal tales, modern and historic, and Kensington Palace beneath the snow looks like the perfect backdrop for a story. Almost modest compared to other castles and palaces, it has the air of a country home placed in the heart of London. Maybe that's why it suits the snow so well.

(photo tietheribbons via Flickr)

Kensington Palace began life as an almost modest house in what was then a village outside London. The two storey residence was built in 1605 by Sir George Coppin and expanded after 1619 when it was bought by the Earl of Nottingham. In 1689, the new King and Queen, William III and Mary II, snapped it up when they needed a royal residence in the country air and within a few years, Sir Christopher Wren had added to the original building to make a palace fit for monarchs.

The first Georgians also expanded and improved the palace. It became closely associated with George II's queen, Caroline of Ansbach, but after her tragic death it fell out of royal favour. Some of George III's many children lived there, among them Edward, Duke of Kent, whose only child, Victoria, was born at Kensington Palace in 1819. In the 20th century, it didn't take on a really royal hue until the last half when members of the Royal Family took up residence there. It became a focal point for those who wanted to remember Diana, Princess of Wales in the days after her death in 1997. Now, her children, William and Harry, and grandchildren, George and Charlotte, live there while in London. A palace built on royal tales and whose stories peek from beneath the snow.

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