Category:

History

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Apr
23
View of Kensington Palace

‘Kensington Palace’ (c) 2014 longplay. Used under a Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode).

One of the things myself and my colleagues working at other Kensington hotels share in common – and often talk about – is the need to constantly find new locations and activities to recommend to tourists visiting the area. If you are a Londoner, you will know what I am talking about – of course you are going to tell someone to visit the London Eye and Westminster Abbey, but what if they have already done that? Then what should you recommend for them to do?

This topic takes up many a lunch break for the concierges of Kensington hotels, simply because most of the area’s main attractions are well-known tourist attractions, such as the museums. Still, the consensus is inevitably that, while you have to strive to find new hidden gems to tell your customers about, there are certain landmarks around the area that you simply cannot overlook.

One of these landmarks is Kensington Palace, an incredibly obvious but also eminently unavoidable recommendation for tourists staying at Kensington hotels. This breathtaking building, which perfectly showcases the architectural wonders our borough is capable of, is also filled with enough history to justify a visit from anyone passing by the area and not yet familiar with it!

In fact, this stunning palace – which also boasts a perfectly manicured garden that I adore strolling around – has been closely associated with the history of the British monarchy ever since its construction in the late 18th century. At first the living quarters of King Henry III and his wife Mary II, the palace would eventually bear witness to many a significant event in British history. It was here, for instance, that the same William III died, as the consequence of a riding accident at Hampton Court, in 1702. It was also here that Queen Victoria – one of the most famous English monarchs – was born in 1819, and then officially crowned queen 18 years later. Finally, it was from here that the funeral procession for Princess Diana took off in 1997, heading for Buckingham Palace to pay last rites to the People’s Princess.

Add to this a visit from an Indian tribe (in 1734) and a dash of intrigue with an incendiary bomb attack in 1940, and it becomes easy to see why Kensington Palace is such a must-see for visitors to London staying in one of the Kensington hotels! I always make sure to recommend it, and have even received positive feedback about it from my guests, now and again!

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