She was crowned Queen of England aged 18 and reigned for 63 years, leaving behind an epic legacy. It’s fitting, then, that Queen Victoria is the focus of two new exhibitions at Kensington Palace to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth this May. Moments from The Milestone Hotel & Residences, Kensington Palace is where the monarch spent her earliest years, and there are plenty more monuments and museums across London that tell her story. From the immense grandeur of Buckingham Palace to concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, here we explore Queen Victoria’s London.
Once Queen Victoria’s childhood home and now the working residence of a number of British Royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace has a 400 year-strong history. Victoria was born here on 24th May 1819 to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, although she was raised by her mother following her father’s passing a year after she was born.
Explore the royal chambers shared by the young Victoria and her mother when Victoria: A Royal Childhood launches on 24th May. This new permanent exhibition charts Victoria’s journey from naïve princess to esteemed monarch. Elsewhere at the palace, Victoria: Woman and Crown introduces the wife and mother behind Queen Victoria’s carefully curated public image.
In honour of the exhibitions at Kensington Palace, The Milestone Hotel is putting on a Victorian Celebration until 29th June. The experience includes entry into the palace in addition to an exclusive Champagne Sabrage experience and a traditional Victorian Afternoon Tea.
The imposing 13th-century church where Victoria’s lavish coronation was held, Westminster Abbey offers a fascinating glimpse into Queen Victoria’s London. Some 400,000 onlookers gathered to witness the queen-to-be make a public procession from Buckingham Palace to the abbey when she ascended to the throne on 28th June 1838.
Royal Albert Hall
Hosting some of the biggest names in music and a vibrant year-round roster of concerts and performances, the Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most prestigious music venues. Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert died six years before the hall’s completion, so she named it after him—it was originally intended to be the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Safeguarding a permanent collection of more than 4.5 million pieces, the V&A is the largest museum of decorative arts and design in the world. Along with its first director, Henry Cole, Prince Albert intended the museum to focus on practical design instead of elitist artwork, seeking to inspire and entice all members of the public, including the working classes.
In July, a third tribute to Queen Victoria opens in London. Queen Victoria’s Palace at The Queen’s Gallery explores how the ruler successfully transformed Buckingham Palace from a private home to a prestigious symbol of the British Royal Family. Victoria was the first monarch to base herself at the palace. Together with Prince Albert, she ensured it was fit for a queen and made many modifications, such as constructing the central balcony that’s still used by the Royal Family for important events today.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Milestone Hotel & Residences in Kensington for access to all the landmarks of Queen Victoria’s London.