King William III

When Germany’s Kaiser William II was erecting a statue in Berlin of William III (1659-1702), he offered a copy to his uncle King Edward VII. The statue by Heinrich Baucke was put up here in 1907 – and a bill for £153.16s.9d sent to Germany to cover costs. He is the ‘King Billy’ of Ulster mythology.

Kensington Palace W8
Tube: Kensington High Street

The Orangery

A supremely elegant setting, the Orangery is the perfect place on a sunny afternoon to sit and watch London go by. Built in 1705 by Nicholas Hawksmoor - more famous for his churches - for Queen Anne, it was later modified by Vanbrugh. If you really want to feel like a princess, enjoy some pink champagne.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7376 0239

Deer & Faun

Topping the gates to Kensington Gardens are these matched pair of deer with their fauns. Once part of Hyde Park, Henry VIII's huge deer chase, the gardens we see today originated in 1689, when King William and his wife Mary bought Nottingham House and renamed it Kensington Palace.

Queen Victoria

While Queen Victoria is well known from images of her in later life, this one shows her as a younger woman on her accession in 1837. It’s by her daughter, Princess Louise, to mark 50 years of rule. The young queen lived in Kensington Palace as a child and used to ride her donkey in the grounds.

Once part of Hyde Park, Henry VIII’s huge deer chase, the gardens we see today originated in 1689, when King William and his wife Mary bought Nottingham House in the quiet rural village of Kensington and renamed it Kensington Palace.

Tube: High Street Kensington

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Kensington Gardens 1 2

Albert Memorial

Unveiled in 1872, this gothic tribute to Queen’s Victoria’s beloved Prince Alfred shows him holding the catalogue to the Great Exhibition he did so much to bring about. The four corners represent the British Empire and the arts and sciences while the frieze shows 169 eminent Victorian scientists and artists.

Great Exhibition Gates

These gates are the last remnants of the Great Exhibition of 1851 - held in the glass wonder that eventually gave its name to Crystal Palace. It made a £186,000 profit which financed the Victoria and Albert, Science and Natural History museums in South Kensington.

Physical Energy

George Frederick Watts, RA, was one of the foremost painters of his time but did little sculptural work because of an allergy to plaster. This massive bronze, another casting of which forms the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, was put here in 1908. He was responsible for Postman’s Park.

Esme Percy Fountain

Near the Palace Gate entrance, on Broad Walk, this 1961 bronze terrier by sculptor Silvia Gilley waits with endless patience for someone to play with him. It’s a memorial to actor Esme Percy, once famous as a producer and star of stage and 50 films, but forgotten since his death in 1957.