William & Mary’s Cipher at Kensington Palace

I only realised recently that I have spent an enormous amount of time at Kensington Palace over the past four years, yet I have very few photos to show of my favourite palace. Let’s fix that, shall we?! I’ll begin with the oldest part of the whole building which was used for Queen Mary II. So, here is something I always point out to visitors on my garden history tours…

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

I think it’s beautiful – the intricate cipher, sometimes called a monogram, of William and Mary’s intertwined initials. This never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

When you go up into the Queen’s Apartments, (which you *cannot* enter through these doors! You must use the main entrance!) do ask one of the friendly Explainers to point out the ciphers that are visible on the wooden coving by the ceiling. You can’t use flash photography inside, and I wasn’t going to break the rules for that, so I don’t have any images to show you, but it’s definitely worth seeing.

This is also, as it happens, the original entrance to Kensington Palace, which was originally called Nottingham House. When William & Mary purchased the home from the Earl of Nottingham in 1689, they re-named the property Kensington House and had it enlarged by Sir Christopher Wren. Officially, the portico on the right was a Georgian addition.

By the way, this is where the Garden History Tours start from – by the tree on the left!;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Susan Abernethy

    Like you Andrea, I love Kensington Palace. It has so many stories behind it. I got chills when I was in Queen Victoria’s room and saw all her toys. Such history!

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