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Kensington Palace to bring royal history to life with after-hours theatre

Les Enfants Terrible/Rah Petherbridge Photography

Theatregoers with a taste for royal history are in for a treat when theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces, present the show United Queendom at quite an unusual venue: a royal palace.

Kensington Palace will open its doors after dark from February 28 through March 30 for the special performances of the play, which focuses on the relationship between George II’s wife Queen Caroline and his mistress Lady Henrietta Howard.

The show, described by the theatre company as “the incredible true story of two powerful women overlooked and forgotten by history,” is an interactive experience where guests are invited to step into the story and attend a birthday party for King George II in 1734. Participants are then asked to choose which woman they’d like to follow: Queen Caroline or Lady Henrietta.

“Delving into the world of political intrigue, court games, high drama, scandalous gossip, and smiling through gritted teeth, this immersive experience presents two different perspectives on the story of these brilliant women who might have otherwise been lost in the shadow of their king,” Les Enfants Terrible said in a press release.

Les Enfants Terrible/Rah Petherbridge Photography

United Queendom will use the palace’s state apartments – the very rooms that were once home to both women – as its sets. The production will utilise 14 of Kensington Palace’s rooms with just 90 minutes after visitors leave the building to set up for each evening’s performance.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be ‘let loose’ in the palace after closing time to bring a modern twist to history and to re-introduce two women who have such modern influences and parallels to the world we live in today,” said James Seager, Creative Director for Les Enfants Terribles.

“They refused to back down in a male-dominated world, refused to be silenced and refused to bow to tradition. They changed the course of history re-defining the role of women at court, fundamentally changing palace life forever in the process.”

Emilie Wiseman, Arts and Cultural Programming Manager for Historic Royal Palaces, said, “In 2020, we’re going to be exploring history from lots of different perspectives, so we’re excited to be embarking on this new creative partnership with Les Enfants Terribles, offering an opportunity for people to experience Kensington Palace in a new and surprising way.”

Tickets for United Queendom are available via the Historic Royal Palaces website and range from £35-49 which includes a complimentary drink.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.