After our visit to the Victoria exhibit, we re-entered the hall of the Palace and walked up the King’s Staircase to the Royal apartments under the Hanoverian Dynasty. Which started 1714 to 1837. With the death of Queen Anne having no heir the House of Stuart ended. George I of Hanover was the closest relative, 52sd in line to the Throne eligible to succeed in England because he was a Protestant Prince and the Act of Settlement stipulated that you had to be Protestant to be King. His successor was his only son George II also born in Hanover, however unlike his father, he spoke English.
When he ascended the throne he shared his father’s problem of having to fend off opposition from Jacobite supporters, with 1745 seeing ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ raise a strong army of rebellion in Scotland. This was famously crushed the following year in the notoriously bloody Battle of Culloden Moor. We got General Cornwallis, safe to say that by today’s standard, Cornwallis was a war criminal, he is infamous amongst Scots and also in Canada, despite being the founder of Halifax.
During George II’s later years he showed little interest in politics but he did involve Britain in the Seven Years War, which saw many European countries rise up against one another. In Canada, this war produce the deportation of the Acadians and the fall of New France in 1763. His reign also saw the foundation of the Industrial Revolution. After thirty-three years on the throne, he died while on the toilet and was buried at Westminster Abbey. As his eldest son Frederick had died of an abscess, the heir became the King’s grandson, George III.
The people you see in these Italian Renaissance style paintings are Courtiers of George I.
The King’s Staircase which is decorated in the Italian style and illuminated by these glass boxes in which candles were placed.
Music of Georg F. Handel played in the background, it really made our visit atmospheric.
King George II was married to Caroline Princess of Brandenburg-Ansbach, they had a happy marriage but she died young of bowel obstruction. They loved parties and Kensington Palace was party central for the Aristocracy. We saw card games displayed which at the time were very popular. People also put wagers on who might win. Dancing and music was another pastime and Georg F. Handel was the favourite composer of the King.
The Game of Court, somewhat like modern Monopoly. Some of the rules below.
Kensington Palace belongs to Queen Elizabeth II and is a Royal Palace, London home to William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Kate and their children. Many other Royals live in the Palace, that portion is not open to the public.
What we visited are known as the King’s State Apartments and decorated in the fashion of the time 1727-1760. Queen Anne lived here and at Hampton Court. Queen Victoria was the last Sovereign to live at the Palace, she moved in 1837 to Buckingham Palace.
The window treatment here in the King’s Gallery recalls Government House in Charlottetown.
Here is Will with the statue of William III of Orange who was Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702, co-reigning with his wife, Queen Mary II, they were the first monarchs to live at Kensington Palace in 1689. The building at the back on the left is the portion where members of the Royal family live today.
Back in the 1600’s prior to the purchase of the house and land by the Crown, it was known as Nottingham House. What we see today is the modified and enlarged building made by William and Mary, Queen Anne and George II and Queen Caroline. Today several apartments are allocated by H.M. the Queen to members of her family. The apartments vary greatly in size depending on rank within the Royal family. Per example when Prince Harry was single he had a small 2 bedroom apartment whereas his brother William being Heir to the Throne had a far larger apartment. Nowadays he has a 21 room apartment. Once his father Prince Charles becomes King, at that point William, Kate and the children will probably be moved to their own palace.
Part of the gardens in the orangerie, that day gardeners were busy putting the garden to sleep for Winter. Queen Anne created this space.
Apartment flats in the area, neo-classical architecture. Will told me that Mr. Darling’s, Wendy and the family in the book of James Barrie, Peter Pan, lived in this neighbourhood on the border with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Note the palm trees.
In the book not the play, the Fairies find baby Peter Pan in Kensington gardens after he has fallen from his pram.
The Italian Gardens within Hyde Park built on the orders of Prince Albert as a gift for his wife Victoria in 1860.
So with this last day we returned to Canada. From Paddington Station to Heathrow airport the Express train takes only 12 minutes. Flying to Montreal.