Kensington Palace – its history and planning your visit

The Kensington Palace

With over 400 years of history and still a working royal residence to this day, Kensington Palace is a must-stop on any tour of London’s most famous landmarks.

For those staying at the Montcalm London, the palace is just a few minutes away, so read on to discover a little more about this iconic building and why it’s well worth a visit the next time you visit the city.

From humbler beginnings

The palace initially started life as a Jacobean mansion back in 1605 when Kensington was little more than a small village. After William III came to the throne in 1689 and started looking for a residence away from the centre of London, the mansion was selected and extended to become more like the building we see today.

Due to his royal patronage, the area of Kensington began to flourish, and the beginnings of the attractive suburb were born, although it would be many years before we started to see the charming eateries and luxury hotels London we enjoy today.

A home for the Royals

In the 70 years after William III moved into Kensington Palace and began remodelling, the building became home to several notable royal residents. The palace was again given a makeover in the 18th century by King George II to include several new lavish apartments.

Kensington Palace in London
Kensington Palace in London

Kensington Palace was also the not-so-happy childhood home of Queen Victoria, and her presence can still be felt on the offical guided tours. Many of her personal items are available to view thanks to the many displays in the areas open to the general public.

Today, the palace is still used as a residence for royal couple William, Kate and their young family, with parts of the place open to visitors.

Visiting the palace

To reach Kensington Palace from the Montcalm London, either take the Central Tube line – it takes just fifteen minutes – or enjoy a mile and a half stroll through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to reach your destination.


Taking a tour of the lavish rooms and apartments is recommended to help you uncover more of the history of the building and its famous residents. As many of the rooms are incredibly ornate, you’ll be glad that you booked one of our luxury hotels London as a standard hotel room may well leave you feeling a little underwhelmed after experiencing so much splendour at the palace.

It is expected that most visitors spend at least four hours exploring the palace, so make sure you enjoy a good breakfast at the Montcalm London before heading off. On your return, treat yourself to a soothing massage at our spa hotel Londonit’s a sure fire way to revitalise those aching feet after a day of discovery at Kensington Palace.

With plenty of interactive exhibitions to enjoy, there is so much to see and experience at Kensington Palace that one visit is never enough. In fact, you could soon be making plans for a second visit to this iconic royal residence!