Kensington Palace, former royal palace on the west side of Kensington Gardens in London, England. The palace, which incorporates a part of the older Nottingham House (built before 1661), was constructed in two phases. The architect Christopher Wren built part of the structure for William III and Mary II, then joint rulers of England, between 1689 (the year that William purchased the Nottingham House) and 1695. The second part, built for King George I, was constructed between 1718 and 1726 by English architect and landscape designer William Kent. Of particular interest are Queen Mary’s Gallery, Queen Caroline’s Drawing Room, Queen Victoria’s Bedroom, the King’s Gallery, and the Grand Staircase, the last two designed by Wren. The King’s Gallery has carved oak cornices and doors fashioned by the English sculptor Grinling Gibbons and a ceiling painted by Kent. Queen Victoria was born in the palace, which, adjacent to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, resides in the most fashionable part of London.
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