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Five royal palaces

With a recent spate of royal engagements – and with the Charles I exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts going down a storm – it’s time you explored these regal cribs on the GWR network.

Kensington Palace

Trains to London

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who recently announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, Kensington Palace was formerly a ‘modest’ country retreat for William III and Mary II. Check out the new exhibition of dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, a fashion icon of the time.

Buckingham Palace

Windsor and Eton Central train station

Every summer (from 21 July), this right royal residence opens its doors to the public. The London home of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace was first inhabited by a monarch when Queen Victoria moved in after acceding to the throne in 1837, subsequently transforming it.

Hampton Court Palace

Trains to London

Perhaps best known as Henry VIII’s ‘pleasure palace’, Hampton Court is one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture you’ll find. The lavishness of the project reflects the vanity of the famous serial monogamist, who was prone to wearing gold, rubies, diamonds and pearls. A true bling king if ever there was.

Eltham Palace

Trains to London

This uninhabited royal residence contains Art Deco interiors that are widely regarded as masterpieces of modern design. Enter the domed entrance hall and you’ll be transported back to the 1930s, wondering when the cocktails will arrive. Playful and stylish, the rooms perfectly evoke high society during the period.