|Kew Palace - front entrance|
Kew Palace is situated within the botanical gardens at Kew in London.
Kew Palace was built for a rich merchant in the 1630s with its distinctive curved gables on each façade and characteristic red colour. It is sometimes referred to as the Red House or the Dutch House. It was first used as a royal residence in 1729 by George II and Queen Caroline as a home for their eldest daughters.
|Kew Palace - rear view|
From 1728, George II’s eldest daughters, Anne, Caroline and Amelia, lived in Kew Palace whilst Frederick, Prince of Wales, lived in the White House, a larger building which used to stand opposite.
George III had lessons with his brother Edward in Kew Palace. When his father died in 1751, Princess Augusta managed to persuade the King to allow her shy 13 year old son to stay with her at Kew.
|Desk, Kew Palace|
In 1764, George III’s eldest sons, George and Frederick, were quarantined with whooping cough in Kew Palace.
After this, George III and Queen Charlotte began to use Kew as additional accommodation for their ever increasing family and after the death of George III’s mother, Princess Augusta, in 1772, they began to use the White House as their country retreat rather than Richmond Lodge. George and Frederick had their own establishment in Kew Palace.
At Kew, George III and Queen Charlotte led a more normal family life. They played cricket, celebrated birthdays and had picnics at Queen Charlotte’s Cottage in the gardens, with the Queen’s menagerie nearby.
|Queen Charlotte's Cottage|
George III’s illness
When George III became mentally unstable in 1788, he was confined in apartments in the White House at Kew and again in 1801 while the Queen and Princesses stayed in Kew Palace. On a further recurrence of his illness in 1804, he was confined in Kew Palace itself.
Around 1800, George III planned to build a Gothic castellated palace at Kew, but it was never completed. He visited Kew for the last time in 1806 and work on the new palace was abandoned.
|Queen Charlotte's bedroom, Kew Palace|
Queen Charlotte died in Kew Palace on 17 November 1818.
What can you see today?
• A wax head of George III made by Madame Tussaud from life
|Wax head of George III|
made by Madame Tussaud
|The chair that Queen Charlotte reportedly died in|
|George III's harpsichord|
in the Queen's drawing room at Kew Palace
|George III’s bath|
|The hatchment displayed at the palace|
after Queen Charlotte’s death
|Costumed guides Alice Painting and Mary Ruane|
at the front entrance to Kew Palace (June 2013)
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy my guide to Kensington Palace.
To discover more about Kew, read my guides to Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the White House.
Sources used include:
Groom, Susanne and Prosser, Lee, Kew Palace, the official illustrated history (2006)
Photographs © Andrew Knowles - www.flickr.com/photos/dragontomato