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painting of kensington palace and gardens from the 1750s


Combining the magic of history, travel and storytelling by allowing visitors to not just see the sites, but step inside their stories. 

‘A deliciously inviting way to explore one of the most atmospheric places in London. At once entertaining and informative, this is a stroll in the best of company through the elegant, eccentric world of the early Georgian court.’

Sarah Gristwood, best-selling Tudor biographer, novelist, and broadcaster


'Told through the eyes of an extraordinary woman, Tales of a Mistress is a masterpiece of storytelling from Tracy Borman. Evocative, authentic and extremely entertaining.'

Nicola Tallis, British Historian and author

"Tracy Borman has written a fabulous experience. Brings the Georgian Gardens back to life. Full of fascinating details on the Georgian period. I loved it!”

Dr. Elizabeth Norton, historian and author

An invitation for a walk in Kensington Gardens London

The early18th century British were suspicious of female rulers as a general rule. However, they found Queen Anne - although she was a woman - more acceptable than her German successors. For she, unlike her German successors, knew how to keep a splendid court by fully embracing all the ceremonies and pageantry.


The queen had an eye for gardens, too, and thanks to the genius of Henry Wise those at Kensington drew crowds of fashionable Londoners. So great were the numbers who wished to enjoy their delights that Queen Anne was obliged to install a series of new gates around the formal gardens that surrounded the palace. Her subjects could only gain access when the court was not in residence here – and only if they were prepared to pay a fee to the gatekeeper.


The price did not deter many, for soon it seemed that the whole of London was there, eager to catch a glimpse of the palace, enjoy the beauty of the gardens or simply to breathe in the wholesome air. Benches, seats and alcoves were provided, some carved with dolphins and scallop shells, which made it an agreeable place for conversation as well as relaxation.


The gardens continued to be the place to be seen through the reign of Queen Anne's successor, George I and his son, George II. Step back in time and take a stroll through Kensington Gardens and the cutthroat world of the Georgian Court.


Tales of a Mistress is an audiovisual walking tour of Kensington Gardens London written by Tracy Borman

"Good day to you and welcome to Kensington Gardens. It is the year 1734 and King George II reigns over England. Kensington Palace is the center of court and its gardens are the place to be seen.

"Forgive me, but before we progress, I must ensure that you are dressed appropriately.  You do not want to suffer the humiliation of being turned away by His Majesty’s gatekeepers for not being of sufficiently genteel appearance. 


"I am Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, Mistress of the Robes to Queen Caroline and, er, companion to her husband, King George II. You might say I serve two masters, although in very different ways. But more of that later. For now, let us enjoy the gardens." 


Step inside the true Tales of a Mistress as you stroll through the park with the King's longest serving mistress and delight in her knowledge of the gardens as well as her intimate familiarity with life in the Georgian Court.


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Acclaimed author, historian, and Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces.

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Actor best known for her roles in Grantchester, Endeavor & A Very English Scandal.

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