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Kensington Palace commemorates the holidays with celebration reminiscent of William III’s Winter Palace

Kensington Palace in the snow
The Christmas season is upon us and Kensington Palace is providing a delightful setting in which to celebrate.

The historic royal residence recently completed renovations to the late Princess Margaret’s former Apartment 1A and it is now the new abode of Their Royal Hignesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. Prince Harry also relocated last year to an apartment within the palace.

Royal fans visiting Kensington Palace during the month of December and the beginning of January will not only be treated to the year-round attractions, but will also get to experience the palace decorated for Christmas, all whilst taking part in merry festivities.

The official Historic Royal Palaces website states that this year’s celebrations are inspired by the winter palace in 1699, when King William III hosted an entire month of lavish parties at Kensington Palace. Courtiers took pleasure in music and games in the exquisite setting of the King’s State Apartments.

This year, the public can again enjoy the recreated merriment in the King’s State Apartments beginning on November 30. Games are reminiscent of those played during the original 1699 winter palace party. Hide&Seek, a design studio specializing in games, worked with Kensington Palace to create Christmas at Kensington Palace: a Game of Crowns, an attraction that is suitable for all ages.

According to the Hide&Seek website, guests can choose a paper crown at the beginning of their visit to the palace, then play games to win prizes with which to decorate their crowns. Games include Frames in which visitors recreate paintings, curtseying in Bows, food arranging in Fruits, along with other games Hearts and Dances. Individuals can then even become King or Queen and sit on the throne. Visiting at the weekend will also allow guests to partake in parlour games from the period which have been reimagined for modern times.

The holiday season will conclude with a Twelfth Night finale during the January 4th-6th weekend.

Visitors can take a break from viewing decorations and playing games at the Palace Café or The Orangery. The restaurants will have a special menu offered for the season, featuring festive fayre.

Also recommended during a visit are the current exhibits ‘Fashion Rules’ and ‘Victoria Revealed.’ Kensington Gardens offers pleasant scenic walks. These attractions and Christmas at Kensington Palace are all included in general admission. Daily hours are from 10am-5pm. Last admission is at 4pm.

Photo Credit: Historic Royal Palaces

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