But Queen Charlotte was already deceased. Visitors to Kew today can see the chair in which she died on November 17, 1818. Her death brought to an end 90 years of royal residence at Kew Palace. The Queen’s goods were removed or sold and a housekeeper was left in residence in the emptied house. In 1840 the majority of the gardens and park were transferred to the Office of Woods and Forests. Kew Palace was re-decorated and opened to visitors in 1898 by Queen Victoria.
Following a ten year closure for restoration, Kew Palace was used to hold a dinner hosted by Charles, Prince of Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on April 21, 2006 and opened the next day to the public. The lower two floors of the house have been restored to the first decade of the 19th century, allowing us a intimate peek into the life of George III during the thirty years after the Boston Tea Party.
Kew Palace is operated by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, and Kensington Palace, as well as Kew Palace. The palace – open April through September – is on the grounds of Kew Gardens. Visitors may take the District Line from London and exit at the Kew tube station. Allow 45 minutes travel time. Lunch or refreshments are available in the Orangery located one yards from the palace door.