Kew Palace, Kew, Surrey
Kew Palace formerly The Dutch House, is located in Kew Gardens, which is between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. Kew Palace is set like a miniature jewel within the vast expanse of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Palace began life as the Dutch House and was built in red brick around 1613 by a Dutch merchant called Samuel Fortrey. It was one of the first examples in Britain of a brickwork known as "Flemish bond", in which the bricks are laid with their sides and ends alternating. The rounded gables gave the house its distinctive Dutch appearance. Fortrey lived here with his wife, Catherine.
The Dutch House was leased in 1728 by Queen Caroline, who intended to use it as a royal annexe whenever she and her husband, George II, were staying at nearby Richmond Lodge. The Dutch House became a nursery for the royal children, and George III spent a lot of time here as a boy. Caroline also leased several other buildings and plots of land, including the White House which stood nearby. In 1731, the White House became the home of Frederick, Prince of Wales. He was the despised eldest son of George II and Queen Caroline, so even the thought of his nearby presence must have been vexations to them. However, he and his wife, Augusta, were rare visitors to Kew until the death of Caroline in 1737. After that, they lived at Kew, devoting much of their time to creating what are now the Royal Botanic Gardens.
In 1772, the White House was taken over by Frederick and Augusta's son, George III, and his young family. George, Prince of Wales (who became the Prince Regent in 1811 and George IV in 1820) and his younger brother, Frederick, lodged nearby at Kew Palace. The freehold of the property was given to their mother, Queen Charlotte, in 1781.
Although the life of Royal Botanic Gardens continued to develop, and still flourishes today,William, Duke of Clarence and his younger brother, Kew Palace enjoyed only a brief flowering. By 1818, it was the end of an era. On 13 July 1818, William, Duke of Kent, were both married in a joint ceremony at Kew Palace. A crisis had been triggered the previous year by the death of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Prince Regent, in childbirth. The Royal family needed more heirs, and in effect the two brothers embarked on a race to see who could produce a child first. It was a sad irony that the Duke of Clarence had fathered numerous healthy, illegitimate children, most notably by his long-time and devoted mistress, Mrs Jordon, but none of his legitimate children survived early infancy. The Duke of Kent and his wife, Victoria, were more fortunate and produced a daughter who grew up to become Queen Victoria.
On 17 November 1818, Queen Charlotte died at Kew Palace, and it was closed. The Royal Botanic Gardens acquired the palace, with Queen Victoria's permission in 1896, and it was opened to the public two years later.
Kew Palace is the oldest building within the Royal Botanic Gardens. Since Medieval times, London has had large expanses of green. Some of these, such as Hampstead Heath, were originally common land, where smallholders such as Richmond Park and Holland Park, were royal hunting grounds or the gardens of large houses; several still have formal features dating from those times. Today you can cross much of central London by walking from St James's Park in the east to Kensington Gardens in the west. Purpose-built parks, like Battersea Park and botanical gardens, like Kew Gardens are not to be missed. Every London park has its own charm and character. Traveling to London is always advisable to book well in advance, as room availabilty and better quality hotels are in constant demand. Direct bookings of London Hotels can be done easily at easytobook.com. Internet hotels booking is fast and efficient. There are also some good deals available by booking hotels online. At easytobook.com, you can also book for New York Hotels and many destinations Hotels like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome and so on.