Historic royal palaces - explore London’s crown jewels

15:25 31 March 2012

Kensington Palace, which was bought by William and Mary in 1689

Kensington Palace, which was bought by William and Mary in 1689

Archant

In so many ways London is a most modern city, but it also a very historic place.

Luckily for Londoners, much of the centuries-old heritage is open and on display.

Among the prized possessions of the capital which can be explored and experienced are its various royal palaces.

These crown jewels one of which actually houses the Crown Jewels are places where splendour and scandal have gone hand in hand down the years.

They make fascinating places to visit, offering historical intrigue which not only puts even Downton Abbey in the shade, but is also fact, not fiction.

The five buildings featured here are all cared for by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces.

Describing them as some of the "greatest palaces" ever built, HRP says: "Each of the five royal palaces in our care has survived for hundreds of years.

"They have witnessed peace and prosperity and splendid periods of building and expansion, but they also share stories of more turbulent times, of war and domestic strife, politics and revolution."

To find out more about the palaces visit www.hrp.org.uk

Kensington Palace

The royal residence where Victoria was born and spent her childhood reopened on March 26 after a 12 million revamp. Alongside the 18th century State Apartments, visitors can enjoy a revealing exhibition on Victorias life and a display of some of Princess Diana's dresses.

Station: High St Kensington

Tower of London

The newly refurbished Jewel House has been unveiled with a display exploring the importance of the Crown Jewels and the Towers role in protecting these treasures. Another highlights is Royal Beasts, an exhibition on the many exotic animals which once lived at the Tower.

Station: Tower Hill

Hampton Court Palace

Originally built to feed the Court of Henry VIII, the vast kitchens were a central part of palace life for more than 200 years. This spring visitors have the chance to experience real smells and sounds in the kitchens during live cookery sessions as history chefs prepare feasts fit for a king.

Station: Hampton Court

Kew Palace

This palace located in Kew Gardens opens for its summer season on April 2 with stories of George IIIs family life and eating habits. George III and Queen Charlotte used Kew Palace as a school house for their eldest sons. New exhibitions for 2012 explore food and dining experience in a Georgian royal household.

Station: Kew Gardens

Banqueting House

Once used to provide entertainment for Charles I, and also the scene of his execution, this Whitehall building is now a national monument open to the public. Classical music concerts and splendid architecture combine for a rich cultural experience in central London.

Station: Westminster

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:42
The two cars collided at this junction of Green Lanes and Hermitage Road, before one car mounted the pavement and hit a mother and her baby daughter. [Photo from Google StreetView]

Five men have been arrested after a woman and her baby were hit by a car in Finsbury Park.

Read more
Friday, July 11, 2014
A whopping £25million worth of cocaine was hidden in plastic bananas, among real fruit (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

A massive haul of cocaine, thought to be worth £25million, was found by Met police officers hidden in plastic bananas shipped over from Columbia.

Read more
Friday, July 11, 2014
Londoners can not afford to get divorced once- let alone twice like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. 
They married twice, but both marriages ended bitterly. (Photo by William Lovelace/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Londoners are becoming stuck in loveless relationships because they can’t afford to divorce and live alone, research claims to reveal.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

You could be the lucky winner of a brand new shiny iPad Air!

London24 has teamed up with leading online electrical retailer Ebuyer to give you the chance to win a sleek 16GB Apple iPad Air!

Always wanted to create your own beer? Perfect Pint are giving you the chance.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

The Week subscription offer

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

Take our quiz and see how much you know about the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Do you know SW19 like the back of your hand? From Henman Hill to Centre Court, Fred Perry to Andy Murray? Well then you should ace our Wimbledon quiz:

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
Instead of actually going to a park, take our quiz about them... (Picture: Warrick Page/Getty Images)

Think-Kew have got what it takes?

Read more