Published titles > Illustrated History > The Story of Kensington Palace
The Story of Kensington Palace cover image
UK £24.95
US $34.95
Hardback with jacket
160 pages
200 illustrations, 1 plan
25.6 x 21.2 cm (10.25 x 8.5 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4674-0
The Story of Kensington Palace

Tracy Borman

Today Kensington Palace is synonymous with young royals: it is the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family, and of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It is also famous for being the residence of Diana, Princess of Wales, during the last years of her life. But the history of Kensington stretches back much further. It boasts more than three centuries of continuous royal occupation, making it unique among the Historic Royal Palaces. Formerly a private house enlarged by Christopher Wren in the late 17th century to suit the needs of William and Mary, Kensington Palace was the favoured home of five sovereigns until the death of George II in 1760. The palace's unprepossessing appearance belies its architectural significance, for it was shaped and decorated by some of the country’s leading architects, artists and craftsmen, and is now a major national monument. Kensington’s social and political significance is arguably even greater. It has played host to some of the most important personalities and events in the long history of the royal family. It was, for example, the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. From the late 19th century onwards, Kensington became a visitor attraction, a museum and home to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. The palace now attracts more than 600,000 visitors a year. In this new illustrated account, Tracy Borman tells the fascinating story of Kensington from private residence to modern-day royal palace, describing not only the development of the building and its magnificent gardens, but also the dramas and intrigues of court life. Its history is set against a backdrop of events that shaped Britain and its monarchy: from the Jacobite uprisings of the mid-18th century to the rise of industrialization in the 19th, and the turbulence of world war in the 20th. Here, in the domestic surrounds of the palace, the monarchy evolved in tandem with the times. The story of Kensington Palace is, in short, the story of the modern monarchy.

A fascinating new chronicle of this world-famous tourist destination and official royal residence

Presents the many and varied stories that make up the palace's extraordinary history, from its beginnings as a Jacobean villa to the current day

With 200 illustrations, all accompanied by informative, narrative-style captions


Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces

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Author Profile

Tracy Borman is joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces and Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust. She has worked for various national heritage organizations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Archives and English Heritage. An acclaimed writer and historian, she is the author of Henrietta Howard (2007), Thomas Cromwell (2014), The Story of the Tower of London (Merrell, 2015), The Private Lives of the Tudors (2016) and Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him (2018), among other titles.

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