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“Kew Palace Surrey London”

Queen Charlotte's Cottage
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Kew Palace Surrey London”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

This is a most interesting place to visit...as it is set in the beautiful Kew gardens you should allow plenty of time to visit both the palace and gardens... we were welcomed at the front door of the palace by a uniformed footman who directed us to a pamphlet giving all the information about it's history... we met several 'maids' and other 'footmen' during our self guided tour, all of whom were friendly and helpful..... whilst there we joined up as members of the Historic Royal Palaces... costing 63 English pounds for a couple , this membership enables you to visit free of charge, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace as many times as you care to go, throughout the year... we found this extremely good value not only for the visits we were able to make, but ongoing information about what was going on at the Palaces was emailed to us throughout the year.... as we live in New Zealand, these emails kept us in touch with the programmes going on at the different palaces, and revived memories of the wonderful visits we were able to make in London when we were there...

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Helen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 reviews from our community

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Washington DC
Level Contributor
77 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Wonderful conversations with well-trained and charming docents”
Reviewed November 7, 2012

It's not every day that a princess invites you to her birthday party. Especially when the princess in question, Princess Augusta, has been dead for 170 years. Yet that is what happened to me when I visited Kew Palace. The docent playing Princess Augusta was wonderful, as was her escort equerry Fulke Greville.

You might have thought it enough to have one great conversation about a princess's life, including whether or not she was likely to marry abroad. But no. I went into the kitchens, and there stood a young woman dressed much more humbly with a blanket of a shawl wrapped around her shoulders, and a large white mob cap with a pink ribbon that ended in a large bow. On questioned whether she was the cook, she wrinkled her nose and informed me she was not allowed to do it. She told me she was Princess Augusta's lady-in-waiting's maid's maid. No-one knew her name, she said. Her one ambition in life was to receive a pension from the royal family so that she could live out her old age in some comfort. She did not wish to marry, because she didn't want to die an agonizing death in childbirth, and she did not much care for men!

As with the other docents, she put on an extremely convincing performance. I highly recommend taking a tour of this little-known royal palace.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank CleoQuatre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“I loved it!”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Kew Palace (in the grounds of Kew Gardens) is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are interested in social history. I have visited many palaces and monuments over the years and found this one of the most interesting, informative and well-presented. It was fascinating seeing where George III and Charlotte and their 15 children lived. Actors in period costumes in the rooms played the parts of various employees of King George and spoke to visitors 1:1 as if we were living in 1789. This was excellent. For example an 'Equerry' of King George spoke to us about the King's illness and how he had been behaving towards his family. There are a variety of well-labelled pictures and artefacts, including hand-written diaries and lists of furniture and food bought for the palace. I also enjoyed the film about the royal couple and their children.
The recently renovated kitchens (in a separate building) were equally fascinating.
The only addition I would have liked to see, is a film or pictures of the main kitchen, showing the state of it when first discovered compared with how it is presented to the public now. I understand that there has only been a small amount of restoration, but I would still have been fascinated to see its original condition. I would also have been interested to see film of where George III's tin bath was discovered.
I would recommend the Orangery restaurant near the Palace for a meal or snack.
Together with being in the amazing Kew Gardens with all they have to offer, this visit to Kew Palace was a fantastic day out.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank TravellingThrough100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
123 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Kew phew”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

Great space so near to London. Fantastic in every season. Take sandwiches have a picnic outside, by the Thames or in a hot house. Lily house good.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank jacqui s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
365 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,366 helpful votes
“Gracious insight into low key family life of George III.”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We had read a bit about the role of these houses in the complicated dynamic of the life of the royal family at the time of George III so we were not expecting grandeur or conspicuously wealthy displays. It was very interesting and easily worth about two hours. We also checked the pricing so did not feel ripped off. Kew gardens are always worth a wander and the setting of these two houses is peaceful and despite the approach to Heathrow still gives an insight into a way of life that we hear little about.

Visited July 2012
3 Thank JoeS424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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