news

Kensington Palace to be decked with traditional decorations as Victorian spirit returns for Christmas

The childhood home of Queen Victoria is going back to the roots to help trace how the festive season became what it is now

The illuminated Christmas tree at Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace will be celebrating a traditional British Christmas with a return to its historical roots in the Victorian era.

The childhood home of Queen Victoria will be decked with traditional decorations throughout the festive season, all inspired by tales of her Christmases at the palace, taken from her diaries.

It will include brass bands playing famous carols of the age, to "tasty talks" on Victorian Christmas dinners.

From December, visitors will be welcomed to the palace by a three-storey Christmas tree laden with candle lanterns, with the theme of silhouettes and shadow play continuing inside the palace.

Lightboxes with displays of festive outdoor scenes and foliage will adorn archways, windows and corridors, with quotes from the famous monarch’s diaries also placed around the building.

Each Saturday, families will have the chance to try their hand at lantern-making in a drop-in session, or have a go at creating a Victorian-inspired decoration to adorn the Christmas tree in the palace’s Family Room.

Family-friendly activities continue with object handling in the Victoria Revealed exhibition, where children can discover toys popular in the 19th century, or play with a doll’s house inspired by Victoria’s own, among the Queen’s childhood treasures on display.

A collection of Princess Diana's most famous dresses to go on display in new Kensington Palace exhibition

Between Christmas and New Year, festive music from The Prince Regent’s Band will fill the palace’s historic Queen’s Gallery every day, with visitors encouraged to stop and enjoy Victorian carols and Christmas tunes.

The palace’s food historians will also be on hand for 20-minute "Tasty Talks" throughout the month.

And the season is rounded off with a Panto and Performance on January 14, offering an insight into the vibrant world of Victorian performance, from cross-dressing actors to backstage shenanigans.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android now!

View full mobile page