In the United Kingdom, the Royal Family has multiple palaces. Kensington Palace has been a residence for Britain's royals since the 17th century.
Begun in 1605 as a simple two-story mansion belonging to Sir George Coppin, by 1619 this structure became known as Nottingham House after the First Earl of Nottingham bought it. Seventy years later, William and Mary became monarchs of the UK , bought the house and had the architect Christopher Wren expand it. This became the preferred residence of the British monarchy until the mid-1700's. When Queen Anne (1665-1714) resided here, her most notable contribution to the palace was adding the gardens. In 1837, the then Princess Alexandrina Victoria, who grew up in Kensington, became Queen Victoria at the age of 18. She held her first Privy Council meeting in the Red Saloon here, before taking up residence at Buckingham Palace. The last reigning monarch who called Kensington his chief residence was King George II. During "The Blitz" of 1940, Kensington Palace was severely damaged by bombs. Several years of work were required to repair this damage. Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and other members of Queen Elizabeth's extended family reside in the private apartments of the palace. These private rooms and offices remain the responsibility of the Royal Household, while the official State Rooms (which are open to the public) are managed by the independent charity known as "The Historical Royal Palaces".