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A haunted palace


06/10/2011



Is the new abode for our future King and Queen haunted?

 

Kensington Palace has been the residence of kings and queens for many centuries. It became a Royal Palace after being purchased by King William III in 1689. According to Peter Underwood, the author of Haunted London, the property cost £18,000 at the time and was often used by the King to hold councils.

 

George II died in Kensington Palace in 1760 and spent his last days anxiously waiting for dispatches from his “beloved Hanover”. Underwood tells us that George II would look towards the weather-vane, wishing for strong winds to speed the ships to bring the long-overdue dispatches. When they finally arrived, it was too late as the king had already died. The author suggests that “when there are strong winds blowing the ashen face of the king is still said to be gazing up at the weather-vane as he did over two hundred years ago”.

 

Kensington Palace


 

Another story in Kensington Palace is that of Princess Sophia, the fifth daughter of George III. The author of Walking Haunted London, Richard Jones, says that the princess fell deeply in love with a royal equerry, by whom she had an illegitimate son. Their love was not meant to be and Princess Sophia secluded herself in her apartments in Kensington Palace, where her only solace was to sit at her spinning wheel. Jones explains “her spirit often returns to the rooms at Kensington Palace where she suffered so much unhappiness. The sound of her ghostly spinning wheel, cranked by her unseen spectral form, has often disturbed the night-time peace, its squeaking, creaking rhythmic sound reverberating through the palace as the hours of darkness slip slowly by”.

 

We’ll bring you details of more haunted sites in Kensington and Chelsea in the coming month, preparing you for our Ghost Tour on the 27th of October.

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