Kensington Palace has been the site of many reported ghostly appearances over the years – one of which was said to have been spotted in Prince Louis’ former nursery
There are countless fascinating and unbelievable stories in the Royal Family’s history.
Whether it is a boy breaking into Buckingham Palace to steal Queen Victoria’s underwear, an heir to the throne being accused of being Jack the Ripper or suggestions that an antlered ghost called ‘Herne the Hunter’ can be spotted in Windsor Great Park when a King or Queen is close to death.
But when it comes to the most unexpected spooky tale, it would have to be the rumour that a ghost named ‘Peter the Wild Boy’ haunted Prince Louis’ former nursery at Kensington Palace.
The Prince and Princess of Wales moved out of Apartment 1A of Kensington Palace earlier this year and relocated to Adelaide Cottage on the Windsor Estate.
It appears it may have been for the best as the family’s former home has reportedly been the location of many ghost sightings and strange reappearances over the years.
In the 1970s, Princess Margaret’s housekeeper said that she saw a woman in Regency-style clothing in the apartment and that she and the butler were woken up by a dreadful scream in the middle of the night – but were the only people in the building at the time.
But that isn’t the only report, as it was even said that Prince Louis’ former nursery is the home of a ghost known as ‘Peter the Wild Boy’.
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Peter the Wild Boy was brought over from Hanover by King George I as he was fascinated by the young boy who lived in the woods, walked on all fours and couldn’t speak. It is now thought that he was suffering from the very rare genetic disorder Pitt Hopkins syndrome.
Once Peter arrived in Britain in 1726, The then-Princess of Wales took great interest in his welfare, but any attempts to teach him to speak or write failed.
He features in a portrait of George I’s court which is hung in Kensington Palace today.
Peter is thought to have died when he was 70 years old and is buried at St Mary’s Church in the village of Northchurch near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire.
There have been numerous other accounts of ghoulish apparitions appearing around the 17th-century building.
From the ghosts of Queen Caroline to Queen Victoria’s aunt, Princess Sophia, sitting at a spinning wheel, many guards and residents have admitted to having sightings or hearing strange noises when in and around the palace.
It is even said that King George II still haunts the palace. Towards the end of his reign, Britain was locked into the Seven Years’ War and it’s said his spirit hangs around the palace crying for his lost soldiers. “Why won’t they come?” he moans.
Before it was transformed into a grand royal residence, Kensington Palace was originally a two storey Jacobean mansion which had been built in 1605 in the village of Kensington.
Sir Christopher Wren was brought in to expand the house and, to keep costs low, he kept the original structure intact and added a three-storey pavilion to each of the four corners. For the next seventy years Kensington Palace was the desired home for Stuart and Georgian monarchs, even though all official royal duties still happened at St James’s Palace.
The residence was expanded several times after the original build was completed – other additions include further extensions to living quarters, an art gallery, an orangery, new state rooms and extensive garden landscaping.
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