Let’s talk about it…George III: The Mind Behind the Myth

2020 marked the bicentenary of the death of George III, the monarch most strongly associated with Kew. Due to the pandemic, we sadly had to close the palace doors and delay the opening of our exhibition, The Mind Behind the Myth.

However, with the easing of restrictions, we are happy to announce that Kew Palace is now open, and from the 4 June to 26 September 2021, visitors to the palace will discover the monarch behind the much-peddled myth. This display celebrates the achievements of the misunderstood king and encourages discussion around mental health.

A palace of happiness and hardship – Young George spent much of his childhood at Kew Palace, learning the art of kingship under the tutelage of some of the most celebrated theologians, architects and musicians of the day. 

In later life, it was also at Kew that George was treated for periods of mental and physical ill health. These treatments led to his life and achievements being almost entirely eclipsed by the story of his “madness”.

This display aims to change public attitudes towards King George. Throughout the palace rooms, visitors will be able to view objects which reveal the king’s diverse interests and uncover the treatments he endured at the hands of his doctors. Such items include notes made by George’s doctors and instructions for the king’s care written by his daughter, Princess Mary. These will be contrasted with examples of the artworks he acquired and a concert programme in his own hand!

Kew Palace is included in the ticket price to Kew Gardens, but please check garden opening times before you book. Tickets to Kew Gardens can be purchased online via the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew website. Kew Palace is open from 4 June – 26 September 2021.

Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens
Open from 4 June 2021
Included in admission to Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

The Great Pagoda
Open from 4 June 2021. Free for Historic Royal Palaces members.

Queen Charlotte’s Cottage
Currently closed to visitors
Included in admission to Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk