Explore the stories of the family of King George III who called Kew Palace their home, told through a stunning new display of their intimate objects
Sitting on the banks of the Thames, dainty Kew Palace, once the home of King George III, will this year be putting on display a stunning collection of interesting objects, as part of its leisured pursuits season exploring the accomplishments of Queen Charlotte and the Georgian princesses.
Originally built in 1631 for a Flemish merchant, the Palace was first acquired for royal occupation by King George II who thought it very suitable as a lodging for his three eldest daughters, Anne, Caroline and Amelia, who created many sketches, paintings and paper cuts inspired by their time here.
And in 2015, Historic Royal Palaces is sharing some of the untold stories of the young Georgian princesses who called Kew their home, revealing the accomplishments required of the daughters of a king. An engaging soundscape and displays of fascinating personal items will allow visitors to discover the pastimes of Queen Charlotte and her daughters, who all received ‘instruction in drawing, painting, weaving and other handicrafts.’
Among the many artworks created by these talented royal students, a magnificent “Baby House”, decorated by the young princesses as a showcase of their handiwork, will be on display, as well as Queen Charlotte’s precious fringe loom, used by her to make decorative braids, and being exhibited for the very first time.
Just a stroll away from the palace lies Queen Charlotte’s cottage, a rustic retreat built in 1770, where the Royal Family enjoyed picnics and peace in a tranquil corner of Kew Gardens. Inside, the cottage’s Print Room is hung with over 150 satirical engravings, while the Picnic Room upstairs is a celebration of the talent of Princess Elizabeth, George III’s most creative daughter, who decorated the walls and sloping ceiling with delicate paintings of trailing nasturtiums and convolvulus. Elizabeth was actually a prolific and acclaimed artist, with a selection of her works published during her lifetime.
In the recently restored Royal Kitchens, left untouched since Queen Charlotte’s death at the palace in 1818, you can learn more about the servants who worked in them as well as the norms of Georgian culinary life.
Admission: Included in the price of entrance to Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew:
Adults £15, Concessions £14, free for 16 and under (with an adult).
Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens opening times:
Open from 2 April to 27 September 2015, Monday to Sundays 10.30 to 17.30 (last admission 17.00)
Queen Charlotte’s Cottage opening times:
Open from 2 April to 27 September 2015, weekends and bank holidays only 11.00 to 16.00 (last admission 15.50)
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