The Sunken Garden has had record numbers of visitors since the memorial statue of Diana was added a year ago. It is a very fitting place for it, as she loved the Sunken Garden and spent much time there on days when the palace grounds were closed to the public. (Click on picture to enlarge)

An evening at Kensington Palace

Wednesday 10 August 2022, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Where to meet up: See ticket, which will be sent to those attending

In 2018, the Kensington Society held one of its most popular events ever: an evening at Kensington Palace. Four years later it’s time to do it again, so please join us on 10 August for an exclusive evening at the Kensington Palace, hosted by Claudia Williams, curator at Kensington Palace.

It will start with drinks on the terrace of the Kensington Palace Pavilion, overlooking the sunken garden and the new memorial Diana statue.

After the drinks there will be a private guided tour of the Queen’s State Apartments as well as the photographic exhibition Life Through a Royal Lens.

The Queen’s State Apartments were originally made for Mary II, after she and her Dutch joint regent, William III, in 1689 had bought the palace to make it the their residence and instructed Christopher Wren to refurbish it. The Queen’s State Apartments were where Mary and later royal consorts lived. This is where they had their bedroom, took their meals, relaxed and entertained friends and distinguished guests.

Life Through a Royal Lens is a new exhibition which opened on 22 March 2022 and will run until 30 October. It explores the British royal family’s enduring relationship with the camera, from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s patronage of photography during its infancy to official pictures and lesser known intimate family portraits from the 19th century until the present day. It contains pictures by Cecil Beaton, Rankin, Annie Leibovitz, Norman Parkinson, David Bailey, the family’s own professional photographer, Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was made 1st Earl of Snowdon one year after marrying Princess Margaret in 1960, as well as private pictures taken by other family members.

The group will be limited to 60 people, so sign up early. The palace requires that each participant has a numbered, personal ticket with their name on it, and this ticket can not be transferred to someone else. Because of this, your booking must have the names and addresses of each participant. Also, the bookings close at midnight on Sunday 7 August, in order for the tickets to be prepared and mailed in good time before the event. The tickets will contain information about where we meet up, and which way to leave the palace grounds afterwards, as they will be closed when we leave.

Kensington Society members £35, non-members £55

Not a member? It’s only £20 for a whole year – and you can become a member immediately by registering and paying here.

Online booking only

Make your booking here, paying via PayPal with your credit or debit card. You do not need a PayPal account to do so.

Please select below the number of tickets required of each kind, before pressing the button “Register Now” to proceed with the booking.

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PLEASE NOTE: Due to a glitch in our payment system, when you reach the page for payment options (after having entered the names and contact details of those attending on the previous page),  you MUST press the PayPal button under “Method of Payment”, although PayPal is the only available option, BEFORE you press the “Proceed to Finalize Registration” button. If you don’t, you’ll get an error message. However, if that happens you should be able to proceed anyway by closing the error message (just click on the X in the upper right-hand corner of the message window) and then selecting the PayPal button before you once again press the “Proceed to Finalize Registration” button.

The bronze statue by Ian Rank-Broadley shows Diana, Princess of Wales, surrounded by three children who represent the universality and generational impact of her work. It had been commissioned by William and Harry in 2017 and was unveiled on 1 July 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. (Click on picture to enlarge)

“Cradle Walk” is the name of the wonderfully lush arched arbour of red-twigged lime (Tilia platyphyllos), which goes all around the Sunken Garden, with openings providing views of both the garden, the palace and the Round Pond. (Click on picture to enlarge)

The evening includes private guided tours in the palace of both the Queen’s State Apartments and the new photographic exhibition “Life Through a Royal Lens”. (Click on picture to enlarge)

The evening will begin with drinks at the Pavilion terrace. The picture, from Google Earth, was taken in April 2020, when the Sunken Garden was being refurbished and replanted. The refurbishment of the Orangery, behind the Pavilion, began in 2018 and should have been finished in 2021, but Covid has delayed it until next year. The Pavilion is a temporary restaurant which will be removed when the Orangery opens again. (Click on picture to enlarge)

Page created 14/07/2022, modified 05/08/2022