Kensington Palace

Art, Architecture and Society

Edited by Olivia Fryman; With contributions by Sebastian Edwards, Olivia Fryman, Joanna Marschner, Deirdre Murphy, and Lee Prosser

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Go behind the scenes of generations of the British royal family, exploring both the glamour and domestic life inside the spectacular 300-year-old Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is renowned for its architecture, splendid interiors, internationally important collections, and, of course, its royal residents. This lavish book thoroughly explores Kensington’s physical beauty and its history, presenting new material drawn from archives, newspapers, personal letters, images, and careful analysis of the building itself. Originally a fashionable Jacobean villa, Kensington was dramatically rebuilt in 1689 by Christopher Wren for the newly crowned monarchs, William III and Mary II. The palace became the favored London home of five sovereigns, yet also survived fires, partial collapse, bombings, and periods of neglect. Queen Victoria recognized the national significance of her birthplace and childhood home, turning the palace into her own memorial as well as a home for members of her extended family and their descendants. With over 450 illustrations, including specially commissioned reconstructions and historic plans, this volume explores the personal tastes and fashions of the British monarchy over the course of 300 years and provides insight into the 20th- and 21st-century royal family’s domestic life.

Olivia Fryman is curator at the Chitra Collection, London, and was an assistant curator at the Royal Collection Trust and Historic Royal Palaces. 

“This handsome book . . . [is] well written and informative.”—W. S. Rodner, emeritus, Choice
ISBN: 9780300236538
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
392 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 3/8
448 color + b/w illus.
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