Must-see venues with royal connections
To mark the coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort, we've rounded up a selection of must-see venues with royal connections.
From a Renaissance ‘pleasure palace’ in Scotland to the London home of the Prince and Princess of Wales, there are lots of historic places with royal connections you can explore with a National Art Pass.
Step into the world of royalty and the official London residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace. Nestled amid lush gardens and boasting luxurious state rooms, the palace offers a glimpse into the opulent lives of the British monarchy, past and present. The blockbuster exhibition Crown to Couture – described by Tatler as ‘Beyoncé meets Bridgerton’ – will take you on a fabulous fashion journey from the Georgian royal court to today’s red carpet.
If you're planning a trip over the bank holiday weekend of 6-8 May 2023, note that Kensington Palace is closed on Saturday 6 May for the coronation.
Discover Blenheim Palace's centuries-old connection to the Royal Family in the current exhibition Royal Connections Crowns and Coronets, showcasing previously unseen artefacts, jewels, crowns and costumes from TV hits such as The Crown and Bridgerton. Plus, they're throwing a special bank holiday picnic on the palace grounds where you can take in the stunning views of this 18th-century baroque masterpiece.
Famously adored by Mary, Queen of Scots, Falkland Palace & Garden is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Described as a ‘royal pleasure palace with a Victorian twist’, it is home to extensive gardens, a royal hunting lodge and one of Britain’s oldest tennis courts.
Sat in the heart of Yorkshire, Harewood House became an official royal household in 1929 after HRH Princess Mary married Henry, Viscount Lascelles and the couple moved in. Despite losing this status when Mary died in 1965, the house maintained its close connections with the Royal Family, becoming a regular destination visited by Queen Elizabeth II over the years.
The ancestral seat of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is a visually striking stately home with a significant collection of Old Master drawings, Neoclassical sculptures and masterpieces by artists such as Da Vinci, Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Reynolds. William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire, married Georgiana Spencer, the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana. The film The Duchess is based on Georgiana and was filmed at Chatsworth.
Henry VIII gave Walden Abbey to his right-hand man Thomas Audley, whose grandson Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, transformed it into a grand country home reminiscent of a lavish royal palace, where he would entertain James I. Charles II was so impressed by the monastic estate that he purchased it in 1668 so that he had a place to stay when visiting Newmarket races.
The more you see, the more we do.
The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.