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A Visit to Kensington Palace, Better Known as Will and Kate’s House

A Visit to Kensington Palace, Better Known as Will and Kate’s House

It was gray and drizzly when I set out to visit Kensington Palace, home of those famous royal parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  William, Kate, and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, live in a four-story, 20 room apartment in the palace.  Of course tourists can’t visit that part of the building, but the State Apartments are open to the public.

William and Mary purchased Kensington Palace in 1689, and made it their official London residence.  Their successors, Queen Anne, King Georges I, and King George II also lived here.  After that, it housed lesser royals including Princess Victoria, who lived there until she became Queen Victoria in 1837.  A statue of Victoria by one of her daughters, Princess Louise, has pride of place in front of the Palace.  The State Apartments feature rooms used by William and Mary and Victoria.  There’s also a small display of dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana.

I combined my visit to the palace with tea at the Orangery, which is in the palace grounds.  An orangery is similar to a conservatory.  They protect orange and other fruit trees from harsh winter weather, and were a fashionable addition to 17th and 18th century mansions.  Rather than my usual cream tea, I opted for the more traditional afternoon tea.  The finger sandwiches, orange-scented scones, small pastries, and chocolate mousse were beautifully presented.

After enjoying a lovely tea, I walked off the calories by taking in the rest of Kensington Gardens.  I visited the Round Pound, where people often sail model boats, the Italian Garden, the Serpentine, and the park’s famous statue of Peter Pan.  I also saw lots of dogs out for their afternoon walks.  Many of them were off-leash, but they were all on their best behavior.  Dogs in London seem so much better behaved than dogs in the U.S.

As I walked across the park, I realized that the trees are turning colors and starting to drop their leaves.  All of a sudden it really seems like fall, or rather autumn, as they prefer to say in the UK.

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