+

Buckingham Palace Balcony Room To Open For Rare Public Viewing

The room situated behind Buckingham Palace’s iconic balcony will open to the public for the first time next week, offering a rare peek into one of the royal residence’s inner chambers. For decades, this room has been where members of the royal family have appeared following coronations, weddings, and other significant events. From Winston Churchill’s […]

Buckingham Palace Balcony Room
Buckingham Palace Balcony Room

The room situated behind Buckingham Palace’s iconic balcony will open to the public for the first time next week, offering a rare peek into one of the royal residence’s inner chambers.

For decades, this room has been where members of the royal family have appeared following coronations, weddings, and other significant events.

From Winston Churchill’s presence alongside the royal family during World War II in 1945 to the wedding of King Charles III and Princess Diana in 1981, the balcony and the adjoining room have been a recurring backdrop to historical moments.

Despite numerous photographs of the balcony, the room behind it has always remained a mystery.

Most recently, Charles was seen on the balcony after his birthday parade last month, accompanied by his daughter-in-law Catherine, Princess of Wales.

The princess, aged 42, attracted considerable attention as this marked her first appearance at an official royal event since announcing her cancer treatment earlier this year.

Guests will have the opportunity to explore the room as part of a tour of Buckingham Palace’s east wing, marking its first public opening since its establishment approximately 175 years ago.

Nearly 6,000 tickets for the inaugural tour were swiftly sold out when they were released in April.

Constructed between 1847 and 1849, the wing was expanded to accommodate Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s expanding family.

“It was Prince Albert’s idea to have a balcony at Buckingham Palace, because he saw it as a way of enabling the royal family to connect with the people, and of course that’s exactly how, in a sense, it continues to be used on important occasions,” said Caroline de Guitaut, surveyor of the king’s works of art.

Guitaut, overseeing 700,000 artworks across 13 royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, mentioned that some of the earliest uses of the balcony by the royal family included bidding farewell to troops departing for the Crimean War of 1853-1856, as well as welcoming their return.

The architecture of the wing largely reflects King George IV’s fondness for Chinese-themed art from the early 19th century.

Visitors touring the east wing will also have access to Buckingham Palace’s state rooms, which have been open to the public during summers since 1993.

The east wing tour will guide visitors along the 73-meter (240-feet) long main corridor, featuring highlights such as the yellow drawing room and the center room situated behind the balcony. The yellow drawing room showcases a Chinese-style fireplace originally from George IV’s seaside retreat in Brighton, along with wallpaper discovered in storage by Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, which she personally requested to be displayed.

The furnishings in the corridor were curated by Victoria and Albert and include chairs, side tables, large pagodas, and Chinese porcelain, including an incense burner shaped like a Buddha.

Notable features in the room behind the balcony include a recently restored glass chandelier designed in the likeness of a lotus flower, and two 18th-century imperial silk wall hangings from China’s Emperor Guangxu, presented to Queen Victoria during her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

While visitors will have views down the Mall leading to the palace, they will not be permitted to step onto the balcony. However, they will have the opportunity to view Jonathan Yeo’s new portrait of the king, predominantly painted in red.

Tags:

Balcony RoomBuckingham PalaceRare Public ViewingTDGThe Daily Guardian