Gallery designed by William Kent to contain the finest paintings of the Royal Collection
Updated 2 July. Following government guidance, Kensington Palace is re-opening from 30 July. Read our visit information
The largest and longest of the state apartments at Kensington Palace, the King's Gallery, looks almost exactly as it did when it was transformed for King George I in 1725.
Red damask, fine oak joinery, a new marble chimneypiece, carved overmantel and new door cases were inserted by William Kent.
Kent and his assistants also painted the seven large ceiling canvases which show scenes from the life of Ulysses.
The King's Gallery was used for exercise as well as displaying pictures. At the east end, it is dominated by a copy of van Dyck’s noble portrait of Charles I on horseback.
The King's Gallery was built for William III as an addition to Sir Christopher Wren's original design. It was hung with green velvet and William would meet with his spies and plan military campaigns here.
This room saw many intimate moments. It was here that William played soldiers with his little nephew and intended heir, the Duke of Gloucester.
It was also here that the King died from pneumonia after falling from his horse at Hampton Court Palace.
The dial positioned over the gallery's fireplace was connected to a wind vane on the roof.
This enabled King William to see which way the wind was blowing, where his navy was likely to be heading and when the posts were likely to arrive. Incredibly, it is still in working order today.
Originally the childhood home of Queen Victoria, later home to Princess Margaret and Princess Diana and now the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace is one of the more fashionable and stylish of our palaces.