Kew Palace

Kew Palace Britain’s smallest royal palace and George III’s private retreat. Cared for by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity who love and look after six of the most wonderful palaces in the world.
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Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818, in conjunction with several other buildings nearby which no longer exist. In happier times, George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children enjoyed a relatively simple domestic routine at Kew. The palace rang with laughter and fun as family games and birthday celebrations provided the distractions from a

Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818, in conjunction with several other buildings nearby which no longer exist. In happier times, George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children enjoyed a relatively simple domestic routine at Kew. The palace rang with laughter and fun as family games and birthday celebrations provided the distractions from a

Operating as usual

How does the story of George III’s treatment at Kew Palace inform discussion of male mental health today? 🧠For our exhib...
19/08/2021

How does the story of George III’s treatment at Kew Palace inform discussion of male mental health today? 🧠

For our exhibition #MindBehindTheMyth, we partnered with local community groups to interpret some of the objects on display, reflecting on how what we know about George’s ill health speaks to mens’ lived experiences in 21st-century London. Over a series of sessions, the group found out more about George III’s story, explored their own mental health journeys, and contributed directly to the final exhibition with object labels offering personal and creative responses.

In a special blog, freelance photographic artist and group facilitator Daniel Regan reflects on his experience with the group, and shares photographs of the time they spent working together. Read here 👉 bit.ly/mindbehindthemyth-blog

📷 Daniel Regan

Experience #MindBehindTheMyth at Kew Palace in a more personal way, with our new series of evening tours 🌙In a small gro...
23/07/2021

Experience #MindBehindTheMyth at Kew Palace in a more personal way, with our new series of evening tours 🌙

In a small group you’ll be guided through our groundbreaking exhibition, uncovering the true story of George III and how attitudes to mental health have changed over the last 200 years — and how they haven’t.

And you’ll also get to explore secret parts of the palace kept shut during the day, including the attics and the original Tudor undercroft.

Tours run on Tuesday evenings until 10 August. Find out more and book here 👉 bit.ly/kew-eveningtour

Experience #MindBehindTheMyth at Kew Palace in a more personal way, with our new series of evening tours 🌙

In a small group you’ll be guided through our groundbreaking exhibition, uncovering the true story of George III and how attitudes to mental health have changed over the last 200 years — and how they haven’t.

And you’ll also get to explore secret parts of the palace kept shut during the day, including the attics and the original Tudor undercroft.

Tours run on Tuesday evenings until 10 August. Find out more and book here 👉 bit.ly/kew-eveningtour

Welcome back to Kew Palace 🧡Today we are so excited to finally reopen the doors to our hidden royal home in Kew Gardens,...
04/06/2021

Welcome back to Kew Palace 🧡

Today we are so excited to finally reopen the doors to our hidden royal home in Kew Gardens, for the first time since 2019. And there’s lots happening!

Our new exhibition tells the story of the Mind Behind the Myth of George III, bringing together objects which explore George’s life and treatment for mental illness here at Kew, and how we think and talk about mental health today 💭

Find out more about all there is to see at Kew, including #MindBehindTheMyth, the Royal Kitchens and the Great Pagoda, here 👉 hrp.org.uk/kew-palace

3 weeks today we reopen Kew Palace with a new exhibition exploring the mind behind the myth of George III 💭No one should...
14/05/2021

3 weeks today we reopen Kew Palace with a new exhibition exploring the mind behind the myth of George III 💭

No one should be defined by their symptoms, yet George’s life and achievements have been almost entirely eclipsed by his poorly understood struggles with mental illness. In the palace where George received treatment for his “madness”, our new display will consider the real man behind his typical portrayal, telling the full story of his illness as well as his diverse passions and interests — from music to horology ⏰

In our latest blog, curator Polly Putnam introduces some of her favourite objects from the exhibition, and the fascinating stories behind them 👉 bit.ly/georgeiii-blog

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

📷 Royal Collection Trust

It’s been six weeks since we closed Kew Palace. Here at Historic Royal Palaces, as everywhere else, we’re reflecting on ...
03/05/2020

It’s been six weeks since we closed Kew Palace. Here at Historic Royal Palaces, as everywhere else, we’re reflecting on a strange and difficult few weeks, and have a couple of big ‘Thank Yous’ we’d like to make...

👑 Thank you to our teams who are carrying on with the essential work required every day to keep the Palaces in tip-top condition. Thanks to their tireless efforts, you’ll still find our wonderful buildings and collections just as you left them when we’re able to welcome visitors again.

👑 Thank you to all our brilliant supporters, but especially our Members. While we’re unable to sell the visitor tickets which would normally fund our work, your continued support for us as an independent charity is more important than ever.

(If you love our Palaces and believe in what we do, we’d be so grateful if you’d consider supporting our work by joining us as a Member: hrp.org.uk/membership)

👑 And finally, we’d like to thank YOU, our amazing online community, for your unwavering enthusiasm for the Palaces and their stories during these uncertain times. Keep your comments, Q&A questions and #PalaceMemory photos coming, and we can’t wait to welcome you back in person when the time comes.

Ready for a quarantine Q&A? Tomorrow afternoon Historic Royal Palaces’ Chief Curator Lucy Worsley will be taking to Face...
09/04/2020

Ready for a quarantine Q&A? Tomorrow afternoon Historic Royal Palaces’ Chief Curator Lucy Worsley will be taking to Facebook Live to answer your questions!

What would you like to find out? 🤔 Comment below with your questions and join Lucy tomorrow at 4pm GMT over on the HRP page 👉 facebook.com/HRPalaces

The clocks go forward today! 🙌🕰 We may be staying indoors, but the sun will be shining through our windows for longer ea...
29/03/2020

The clocks go forward today! 🙌🕰 We may be staying indoors, but the sun will be shining through our windows for longer each day ☀ In celebration of BST, we’re taking a look at George III’s love of clocks and science during the age of the enlightenment. Click on the pictures for more 👇 #museumsfromhome

In light of recent government advice, with heavy hearts we have made the decision to close Kew Palace, Queen Charlotte's...
19/03/2020

In light of recent government advice, with heavy hearts we have made the decision to close Kew Palace, Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the Great Pagoda from Friday evening. This is to protect the welfare of our visitors and our incredibly dedicated team.

The team at Kew have been working hard to prepare a really exciting exhibition, George III: The Mind Behind the Myth. We've made the decision to postpone the opening of this exhibition so that as many people as possible can visit and enjoy it, so watch this space for a new date.

Throughout its history, the past custodians of Kew and the other five extraordinary buildings cared for by Historic Royal Palaces have risen to huge challenges — and so will we. When we return, as an independent charity we’ll need your support more than ever.

In the meantime, please keep in touch with us here on Facebook, where we’ll continue to share the stories from the Palace we had planned to share with you in person.

Stay tuned, and stay safe 👑

Here's Kew Palace standing in the sun, waiting to welcome visitors once again in a couple of weeks! ☀ Thanks to arianega...
14/03/2020

Here's Kew Palace standing in the sun, waiting to welcome visitors once again in a couple of weeks! ☀ Thanks to arianegalyhistorian on Instagram for tagging this #PalacePhoto, our favourite picture of the week 📸

This #WorldBookDay we are celebrating the life and poetry of Stephen Duck, Queen Caroline's palace poet and royal librar...
05/03/2020

This #WorldBookDay we are celebrating the life and poetry of Stephen Duck, Queen Caroline's palace poet and royal librarian.

Duck was a self-taught Wiltshire poet who had come to the attention of the Queen through his poems about his experience as a farm labourer. After leaving school at fourteen, because there was no more that he could be taught, Duck saved his wages to buy books and teach himself to write poetry. Duck received royal support and was appointed court poet. In 1733 Duck married the Queen’s housekeeper at Kew Palace, Sarah Big. The Queen commissioned a new house to be built in the palace gardens for Duck and his new wife. Designed as a hermitage, ‘Merlin’s Cave’ was a Georgian fantasy-land with conical thatched roofs, chambers of books, and six life sized models of literary characters, including one of young Merlin studying at a desk surrounded by magical books and instruments.

Duck took on many roles throughout his life, including becoming a Yeoman of the Guard, and keeper of Duck Island in St. James’ Park. With the support of the Queen, Duck wrote many books of poetry during his life. The most famous, ‘Poems on Several Occasions’, was read by aristocrats and dignitaries across Britain including Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and the Prince of Wales.

On the Queen’s death, Duck wrote a poem entitled ‘The Vision’, mourning his sponsor:

Look down, and see her duteous Children’s Tears;
Look down, and hear the best of Monarch’s Pray’rs:
See, round her Bed her tender Offspring kneels,
While ev’ry Pang her Royal Consort feels.
Nor only They intreat Thee for her Breath,
Three Kingdoms bed Thee to avert her Death:
Religion, Learning, Art, and Science fear
To find a Period, and a Grave with Her.

Kew Palace
03/03/2020

Kew Palace

On 15 February 1772, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha died at Carlton House.Augusta became Princess of Wales upon her marr...
15/02/2020

On 15 February 1772, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha died at Carlton House.

Augusta became Princess of Wales upon her marriage to Frederick Prince of Wales in 1736, son of George II. The couple had nine children, but in 1751 Augusta was widowed upon Frederick’s unexpected death. The Princess devoted herself to her children, and resided at Kew Palace, away from court life. She greatly enhanced the landscaped gardens around Kew and studied exotic plants. She monitored the education of eldest son, the future George III, and had him educated in architecture under William Chambers.

Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️  Princess Amelia was the sixth daughter to George III and Queen Charlotte – the youngest of th...
14/02/2020

Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️

Princess Amelia was the sixth daughter to George III and Queen Charlotte – the youngest of their 15 children. The King was very fond of his children, but as his daughters grew up he was reluctant to let them go and restrictive of their marriage choices. They led isolated lives and referred to Kew Palace at the nunnery. Amelia was known for being intelligent and friendly and was adored by her siblings, but she suffered poor health throughout her life.

Despite her parent’s restraint over their lives, Amelia fell in love at the age of 15 with an equerry, the Hon. Charles FitzRoy, whilst recovering from illness by the seaside. The Royal Marriages Act passed by her father’s parliament prohibited her from legally marrying Charles, yet she considered herself married to him, taking the initials A. F. R. (Amelia FitzRoy). Sadly, her illness persisted, and the Princess died aged 27. The King was devastated and his mental health severely deteriorated following Amelia’s death. In her will, she left everything to Charles FitzRoy.

Kew Palace
03/02/2020

Kew Palace

On 1 February 1707, Prince Frederick was born in Hanover. His father ascended to the British throne in 1727 as George II...
01/02/2020

On 1 February 1707, Prince Frederick was born in Hanover. His father ascended to the British throne in 1727 as George II. Frederick was the heir apparent and given the title Prince of Wales. Although young and fond of drinking and gambling, Frederick was also a great patron of the arts and a musician. Frederick and his family spent a lot of their lives at Kew Palace. Frederick remodelled the White House at Kew, the main home of the royal family, and commissioned the building of the Royal Kitchens, which can be visited to-day. This picture shows the White House at Kew in 1769.

200 years ago today, George III died at Windsor Castle aged 81. He had suffered years of poor mental health and mistreat...
29/01/2020

200 years ago today, George III died at Windsor Castle aged 81. He had suffered years of poor mental health and mistreatment in an era that little understood his illnesses. His epitaph today is still that of the ‘mad king’, but our exhibition opening at Kew Palace this April seeks to look beyond this caricature to the see the mind behind the myth. Here’s five facts about George III - click on the images for more... #MindBehindTheMyth

Find out more about the exhibition: bit.ly/Kew2020

Kew Palace's cover photo
28/01/2020

Kew Palace's cover photo

On 27 January 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. As a child prodigy, Mozart performed numerous times in London for ...
27/01/2020

On 27 January 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. As a child prodigy, Mozart performed numerous times in London for King George III, as part of the Mozart family’s European ‘Grand Tour’. He accompanied Queen Charlotte singing an aria, dedicated a set of violin sonatas to her, and played at the fourth anniversary celebrations of the King’s accession.

Here is the Queen's Drawing Room at Kew Palace, with a harpsichord on display made by Burkhardt Tschudi (1702-73).

Happy New Year from Kew Palace! ✨
01/01/2020

Happy New Year from Kew Palace! ✨

Merry Christmas from Kew Palace! ✨
25/12/2019

Merry Christmas from Kew Palace! ✨

The latest episode of Historic Royal Palaces’ podcast Outliers is now live! This week we’re exploring the story of Carol...
17/12/2019

The latest episode of Historic Royal Palaces’ podcast Outliers is now live!

This week we’re exploring the story of Caroline Herschel, a talented astronomer who worked as an assistant to her brother William, court astronomer to George III. Caroline discovered a series of comets, and was the first woman to be paid a salary as a scientist ☄️

Listen to the episode here: bit.ly/outliers-podcast

And find out more about Caroline Herschel in our latest blog post: bit.ly/blog-carolineherschel

Prince Albert is often credited with bringing the Christmas tree from Germany to Britain. However, the first recorded si...
04/12/2019

Prince Albert is often credited with bringing the Christmas tree from Germany to Britain. However, the first recorded sighting of a Christmas tree occurred some 40 years before Albert married Victoria. The origins of the Christmas tree can be traced to Queen Charlotte who imported the tradition when she married King George III. Christmas trees were popular across Germany at the time. In Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the state where Charlotte grew up, the tradition was not to put up a tree, but to decorate a single yew branch. When celebrating Christmas, Charlotte would place the yew branch in a large room at Kew Palace or at Windsor Castle. The branch would be decorated with candles and ornaments and have presents around it.

In 1800, Charlotte was hosting a party for all the children at court. As part of the celebrations, she put up not just a branch, but a whole yew tree. As an observer describes it, “from the branches of which hung bunches of sweetmeats, almonds and raisins in papers, fruits and toys, most tastefully arranged; the whole illuminated by small wax candles”. Each child received a portion of the food and presents that the tree bore.

Share pictures of your Christmas tree below 👇🎄🎄🎄

Merry Christmas from Kew Palace! ⭐

Kew Palace's cover photo
02/12/2019

Kew Palace's cover photo

Just under a week to go to submit your entry! We’re inviting you to share personal objects that symbolise your mental he...
26/11/2019

Just under a week to go to submit your entry! We’re inviting you to share personal objects that symbolise your mental health journey in a new display at Kew Palace. As part of plans to commemorate the life of George III in 2020, 15 objects will be featured on the top floor of Kew Palace as a means for inspiring thought, discussion and reflection on how we think and talk about mental health today.

Find out more and take part bit.ly/Kew2020

On 17 November 1818, Queen Charlotte died at Kew Palace. She was taken ill in the summer of 1818 and hoped that the clea...
17/11/2019

On 17 November 1818, Queen Charlotte died at Kew Palace. She was taken ill in the summer of 1818 and hoped that the clean air of Kew would help her recover. Unfortunately, she had dropsy, a progressive disease, and her condition deteriorated until winter, when she contracted pneumonia. During her final days she found it difficult to lie down and was more comfortable sitting up in a chair. It was in this black chair that she eventually died.

On 6 November 1817, Princess Charlotte of Wales tragically died in childbirth, a year after her marriage to Prince Leopo...
06/11/2019

On 6 November 1817, Princess Charlotte of Wales tragically died in childbirth, a year after her marriage to Prince Leopold. The only legitimate daughter of George IV, Princess Charlotte was in line for the throne and seen a hope for the nation after the unpopular reign of her father. The nation mourned for her on a tremendous scale, and her death dramatically changed British history. The King was left without any legitimate grandchildren; his sons were urged to leave their mistresses and hastily married off, eventually resulting in the birth of Princess Victoria.

Three months after the death of Charlotte, the practitioner who had attended her fatal childbirth, Sir Richard Croft, committed su***de. The high profile tragedy of the three deaths provoked a review and change in obstetric practice.

Happy Halloween 🧙‍♀️ These incisions, referred to as witches marks, were found in the rafters of the old roof at Kew Pal...
31/10/2019

Happy Halloween 🧙‍♀️ These incisions, referred to as witches marks, were found in the rafters of the old roof at Kew Palace, and likely date from the 1800s when Kew was the family home of George III and Queen Charlotte. Among the marks are sun symbols, eye shapes and M-shapes, to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary, all classic witchmarks. They are found in positions near the potential points of danger such as the doors and windows. These marks give us a glimpse into the lives, beliefs and fears of the servants who lived in these rooms.

On this day in 1760, George, Prince of Wales discovered that his grandfather George II had died suddenly and that he was...
25/10/2019

On this day in 1760, George, Prince of Wales discovered that his grandfather George II had died suddenly and that he was now the next King of England, George III.

Born on 4 June 1738 in London, George III was the first Hanoverian monarch to use English as his first language. George I and his grandfather George II who proceeded him had both been born in what we now know as Germany and had been criticised for the length of time they spent on trips abroad. In 1761, George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and was a devoted husband and father with a very busy house – they had 15 children in total! Kew Palace was one of George III’s preferred palaces, and he spent many happy summers with his family here. Unfortunately, the King’s affection for Kew was likely dampened when he was incarcerated here during bouts of mental ill health.

On 13 October 1781, ‘Dutch House’, now known as Kew Palace, was purchased by King George III from the Levett family for ...
13/10/2019

On 13 October 1781, ‘Dutch House’, now known as Kew Palace, was purchased by King George III from the Levett family for £20,000.

The palace, known as ‘Dutch House’ because of the shape of its gables, had been built in 1631 by Samuel Fortrey. Sir Richard Levett purchased the house from the Fortrey family and in 1728 Queen Caroline, George II’s wife, took a long lease on the property. The building, along with the larger adjacent ‘White House’, remained rented by the royal family until George III bought it from a descendant of Levett family in 1781 for £20,000, the equivalent of around £3.6m in today’s money. Read on: bit.ly/kewpalaceHRP

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Comments

Great day out, informative and friendly staff. Too this 3D shot of two of the assistants.
Hope our group had a lovely time today at Kew Palace & Gardens. Fingers crossed some of our passengers took some great photos! :D
Lovely place, well worth seeing.
A big like from us at Jomanda Soft Toys #SofterThanASoftThing
Royal Monogram, Kew Palace Gardens
Medicinal Garden at Kew Palace
Fabulous day at Kew Palace.
Our plan for 2018 is to take every Old English Village back to how they would have looked in the post war period of the 1950's by simply reintroducing our classic black and white painted cast metal or seasoned hardwood finger post signs. We supply many conservation groups with spare parts to make their existing signs complete, as we have a massive collection of signs from the 1930's roadside heritage of the golden age England, of all of our yesterdays. Please Like, Share & Follow our Finger Post Signs Page: https://www.facebook.com/oldfingerpostsigns/
Fantastic architecture!
What is the answer to Princess Amelia's riddle? A word that consists of three letters alone reads backwards and forwards the same without speaking a word it makes sentiments known and to beauty lays principle claim. I think the answer is "eye", if it is then this is the first riddle I've ever managed to solve!!