Ranked #5 of 10 attractions in Richmond-upon-Thames
A most intimate royal palace, Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and1818, in...
A most intimate royal palace, Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and1818, in conjunction with several other buildings nearby which no longer exist. In happier times, George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children enjoyed a relatively simple domestic routine at Kew. The palace rang with laughter and fun as family games and birthday celebrations provided the distractions from affairs of state. However, in later years the atmosphere darkened as family rivalries became more intense and relationships soured. Kew became a retreat for an ailing King George and a virtual prison for his elder unmarried daughters. The Royal Kitchens at Kew are a unique survival - a Georgian royal kitchen left untouched for 200 years, with many original features intact. They tell the story of the servants who worked in them - and evoke life on the 6th February 1789, the day George III was given back his knife and fork, after his first episode of ‘madness’. The nearby Queen Charlotte’s Cottage was built in 1770, and later enlarged and decorated as a fascinating cottage orné.