Heritage

Kings, Queens, and Prisoners of War: Meet the Notable Residents of Kensington Palace

Everyone who's ever lived in this royal residence.
IMAGE STEVE CADMAN/ TSAIPROJECT/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Kensington Palace has recently been the subject of a lot of attention, thanks to the big news about Prince Harry and his fiancee Megan Markle moving in. But they won't be the palace's only residents. See who share—and have shared—the residence with the couple on this list.

Prince William's family


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The Duke of Cambridge grew up in this palace and now shares the residence with his wife, Kate Middleton, and their children, George and Charlotte. Prince William and Kate used to occupy Nottingham Cottage, where Prince Harry and Markle will stay, but now reside in Kensington’s Apartment 1A.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and the Prince and Princess of Kent

Other present-day royals also share the address, with speculation about Princess Eugenie possibly joining them soon. Among them are Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, and his wife Birgitte van Deurs; Katharine and Edward, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, in the Wren House; and Prince Edward and his wife Marie Christine von Reibnitz in Apartment 10.

King William III and Queen Mary II

The first occupants of Kensington Palace, King William III and Queen Mary II, purchased the modest Nottingham House in 1689 because of the former king's respiratory health. Chosen for its location away from the foggy and oft-overflowing Thames, it was then improved upon with the aid of Sir Christopher Wren, Surveyor of the King's Works.

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Queen Anne


Queen Anne continued the extension-work of the former royals, thus earning the name for the section, the Queen's Apartments. Her contribution to the grounds is best remembered through the gardens and the Orangery, a conservatory for warm-weather plants that also functions as a hall for entertaining guests.

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King George I 

King George I left his mark on the palace with the help of William Kent whom he commissioned to create the Privy Chamber, the Cupola Room, and the Withdrawing Room.

King George II

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King George II was the last reigning monarch to reside in the palace and left most of it untouched. His wife, Queen Caroline, on the other hand, ordered the renovation of the gardens.

The children of King George III


Prince Augustus Frederick


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Princess Sophia


Prince Edward

Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, occupied Apartment 1 where he amassed a library that filled ten rooms, while his brother Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, was given two floors in the southeast corner. Their sister, Princess Sophia, stayed near the latter.

During World War I

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It is interesting to note that not only royals have lived in the palace. During the First World War, the palace, under King George V, opened its doors to Irish soldiers and prisoners of war. The royals who lived in the palace at the time were Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany; Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and the Earl of Athlone.

The Earl of Snowdon and Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret also lived in Kensington Palace. She and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, were allocated Apartment 10, which she called "the doll's house.

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