Hampton Court (4): Wiliam III’s apartments

King William's staircase
King William’s staircase

The accession to the throne of William III saw a programme of new royal building works including the building of Kensington Palace.

In 1689 William III commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build a new palace wing at Hampton Court, although Wren was eventually replaced by one of his assistants as the King deemed Wren’s plans too expensive. These additions included a completely new set of Royal apartments and audience chambers.


At the top of the staircase is the door to the waiting room. Here people would gather hoping to be able to see the King.

The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room


How it might have been in the reign of William III
How it might have looked in the reign of William III


From this chamber a corridor leads past each of the rooms of the wing. It is interesting that they are arranged in order of privacy and the further along the corridor one met the King was a sign of your position in the court or country.


The first of these chambers was the Presence Chamber, where the King heard most petitions.

The Presence Chamber
The Presence Chamber

Nest to this was the King’s Eating Room where he could dine with important guests.

King's Eating Room
King’s Eating Room

The next room was the Privy Chamber, where the King would receive ambassadors and where formal ceremonies would be held.

Privy Chamber
Privy Chamber

Beyond this were the Withdrawing Room, a place where the King met with his ministers and the King’s two bedrooms. The Great Bedchamber, a large formal room and the smaller and more intimate Little Bedchamber.

The Great Bedroom
The Great Bedroom

Beyond these lay the closet and the back stairs which enabled the King to leave the apartments without having to cross the Waiting Room

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