Buckingham Palace Private Apartments – Scene Therapy
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by Scene Therapy
Despite being the official headquarters for the British royal family, there are huge swathes of Buckingham Palace never seen by the general public, from the extensive staff quarters and working rooms, to the historic royal quarters. This post takes a look inside the Buckingham Palace private apartments:
Located at the rear right of the palace, the private apartments are primarily used by the reigning monarch, most recently Queen Elizabeth II, who resided there for nearly 70 years. In the floorpan above, the majority of the apartment runs along the north-west flank of the building, with a small section facing the rear gardens.
As seen in the image below, the apartments are located directly behind Marine One; visiting during President Trump’s trip to the palace in 2019. The Queen’s Audience Room was located on the ground floor with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the vast garden lawn.
Image curtesy of The White House, Public Domain
Though making up a small portion of the palace’s 775 rooms, the monarch’s apartment is made up of at least 25 rooms including a suite for the consort, as well as various ante-chambers. The Queen’s Audience Room was the only room from the apartment that Her former Majesty ever allowed to be photographed. The pale blue sitting room was usually seen by the public in photos and short reels while she received various heads of state from around the world (below, receiving President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle in 2009) and her weekly audience with her prime minister.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, public domain
Unlike most rooms in the palace, The Queen’s Audience Room had polished dark wood floors and white contrast mouldings, with refined furnishings including simple table lamps and cream antique arm chairs and matching sofa. Unlike The Queen’s busy, cosy private sitting rooms as seen in Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle, this public reception room is much more sparse, with surfaces occupied by selected official family photos and trinkets gifted by various diplomats. A central seating area crowded the fireplace, while Her Majesty’s writing desk sat in the corner by the window, a collection of antique side tables dotted around the room for extra style and paintings from the Royal Collection hung on the walls.
The room was decorated for Queen Elizabeth II by celebrated interior designer John Fowler, with the decor and layout remaining unchanged for the rest of Her Majesty’s reign. You can see the original design of the room, looking back towards the window, on Colefax and Fowler’s website here. The room can be located on the floorpan below indicated by the top pink spot:
As well as communal spaces and rooms for staff, the apartment comprises of a Monarch’s Suite and a Consort’s Suite. It is believed Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took breakfast together in The Morning Room, which formed part of Prince Philip’s suite (the yellow spot, furthest right). Furtive snaps of the room were taken 2003 by a journalist for The Mirror newspaper, who infiltrated the palace as a legitimately employed footman. The investigation revealed the private apartments are accessed by staff with ‘secret’ keys, and footmen are provided with ‘maps’ to place condiments, cups and cutlery in the right place according to the royal being served. Read the article and see the handful of images from the private apartments at The Mirror’s website here.
Except for Ryan Parry’s handful of sly snaps, the private quarters have remained almost entirely out of the public’s view. There are, however, a range of photographs from inside the private apartments taken during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, showing the monarch and consort’s various sitting rooms, bedrooms, dressing rooms and writing rooms, as well as Prince Albert’s stunning library.
Buckingham Palace also has suites of rooms made into private apartments for other royals, today there are apartments for The Earl and Countess of Wessex, as well as the distinctly titled ‘Bobo MacDonald Suite’ named after Margaret (Bobo) MacDonald, Queen Elizabeth’s nanny and dresser.
Though there are no contemporary examples, you can view other historic photographs of the private apartments at Buckingham Palace by browsing through the collection at the Royal Collection Trust. You can see inside other royal residences by browsing the ‘Royalty‘ tag including the private apartment at Windsor Castle.
Buckingham Palace’s Private Apartments – what we know
Buckingham Palace is arguably the most recognized ‘royal residence’ globally – but the areas that actually serve as homes are far less familiar to the outside world.
Though the palace, located in central London, is considered a royal residence, much of the landmark property consists of official State Apartments that serve as meeting spaces for foreign dignitaries, royals, and celebrities alike. These rooms are also open to the public for selected dates during winter and spring and ten weeks each summer.
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The palace’s Private Apartments are, however, much less explored – and they may soon serve as the UK base for Meghan and Harry, who were ‘evicted’ from Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
According to The Mail on Sunday, King Charles requested the couple leave their former home and is said to have offered the property to his brother, Andrew, the Duke of York. However, reports say that the monarch has offered Meghan and Harry an ‘olive branch’ in the shape of an apartment in Buckingham Palace.
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Described as a ‘landmark publication,’ Prince Harry’s long-awaited memoir reveals his life in the royal family and beyond.
The Private Apartments are reportedly found on the left side of the image above
(Image credit: GettyImages)
‘His Majesty is furious [with Harry], as is [Prince] William. But the King is not a bad man. He has no wish to see his brother Andrew homeless or penniless. Nor does he wish to deprive the Sussexes of a base in the UK,’ the source told The Mail. It is reported that the King coincidentally offered Frogmore to Prince Andrew, where he may move after 20 years in the 30-room Royal Lodge mansion in Windsor.
‘London is a better fit,’ the source adds. ‘The Sussexes have always wanted rooms at Buckingham Palace. They could have Andrew’s old rooms there, which are currently being vacated.’ Here’s what else we know about the secret royal homes.
Buckingham Palace’s Private Apartments – what you need to know
Located at the rear right of the palace, the private apartments run along the northwest flank of the building – and a small section faces the rear of Buckingham Palace Gardens.
A floorplan designed by Screen Therapy shows the series of rooms that stretch from the Mall to the gardens – including the Queen’s Audience Room (located on the ground floor) that exhibits floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lawn.
(Image credit: GettyImages)
The Private Apartments make up at least 25 of the 775 rooms in the palace – however, while this is considered a ‘small’ percentage in terms of the entire building, it is likely to offer ample space for Harry, Meghan, and their two children Archie and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.
Images from inside the home are unsurprisingly sparse; however, there are some exceptions. This includes a photo of the Queen’s Audience Room (pictured below) that offers a glimpse into the private part of the palace.
This room, designed by John Fowler, exhibits polished dark wood floors and white contrast moldings that create a contrast against the floor. There is a selection of ornate antique furnishings including a cream armchair and a gold-fringed mirror above the fireplace.
(Image credit: GettyImages)
Alongside the communal spaces and rooms for staff, the private apartment has Monarch’s Suite, Consort’s Suite, and The Morning Room – where the late Queen and Prince Philip reportedly had breakfast when they stayed in Buckingham Palace.
There are no official images of this space; however, a journalist for The Mirror shared a photo (seen here) following a period as an undercover footman who was employed by the palace in 2003.
Where are the private apartments in Buckingham Palace?
The private living spaces are located at the rear right of the building – spanning from The Mall to the Queen’s Audience Room that overlooks Buckingham Palace’s lawn.
The rumors regarding Harry and Meghan are yet to be confirmed, but we’ll keep you updated as we know more about their property portfolio – and the future of Buckingham Palace’s most undisclosed areas.
Buckingham Palace London – photo, description, address with map, reviews, sights of Great Britain
World-famous Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the Queen of England – Her Majesty Elizabeth II. But this is not just the main palace of the country, not only the place of work of the queen, where for more than forty years she has been acting head of the British state and the Commonwealth of nations, the supreme commander of the armed forces and the secular head of the Anglican Church. First of all, it is the residence of the English queen and her family. Buckingham Palace
Until very recently, the palace was closed to the general public, and for the first time the doors of this museum were opened to visitors only in the summer of 1993.
‘The history of Buckingham Palace and its very name date back to the 18th century. At that time, this place was the great palace of the Duke of Buckingham. According to contemporaries, it was “one of the finest houses in London.” In 1762, King George III of England purchased it for £28,000 from Sir Charles Sheffield, who succeeded him on the death of the widowed duchess. Buckingham House was named “The Queen’s House” and served as the residence of the King’s wife Charlotte and her growing family.
George III modernized and expanded the house: in particular, the facade was simplified View of the Palace. ( .mov; 0,2Mb ) buildings and built a wonderful library for a large collection of valuable books. The king brought here many works of art from other palaces to decorate the interior of the “Queen’s House”. In addition, he purchased a splendid collection of paintings, mostly by Italian artists. And the leading English artists of that time were invited to paint portraits of royal people – Ramsay, Zoffany, Gainsborough, Benjamin West. Palace Gate
But the symbol of the kingdom, Buckingham Palace was made by Queen Victoria, whose long and peaceful reign lasted 64 years. The palace again underwent a very serious reconstruction, which cost the treasury 640,000 pounds sterling. Now the State Apartments are open to the public, which are intended for official ceremonies, banquets and receptions. The ceremonial rooms are arranged in enfilades, the central one being the Green Living Room. Previously, it was the salon of Queen Charlotte, then the hall where delegations gathered before a reception with the monarch.
In the Green Drawing Room, visitors can see a collection of beautiful paintings, artistic furniture, such items of decoration as luxurious candelabra, clocks and vases made of Sevres porcelain. The porcelain items displayed in the State Apartments of the Palace are part of a large collection that was collected by King George IV. Currently, this collection is considered the best in the world. Top view
Of particular value (although it is difficult to distinguish what is more valuable) is the artistic furniture of the living room. In particular, it is here that there is an ebony chest of drawers with gilded bronze and panels inlaid with semi-precious stones (the work of the famous French furniture maker of the 18th century M. Carlin).
The Green Drawing Room contains some of the finest things in Buckingham Palace. Among them is a large perfume in the form of a ship, the coat of arms of the city of Paris, in all likelihood, belonged to the Marquise de Pompadour.
After the Green Drawing Room comes the Throne Room, through which visitors enter the Picture Gallery, the largest room in Buckingham Palace: it is almost 50 meters long and eight meters wide. In 1914, the Gallery was completely refinished, the roof was reconstructed and a new lighting system was introduced – overhead skylights. Statue of Queen Victoria
The interior of the Gallery has also been renovated: bas-reliefs were carved on four fireplaces made of white marble – portraits in profile of the great painters of the past – Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Albrecht Dürer and Van Dyck.
The exposition of the Gallery, consisting of 44 paintings (as of 1993), is constantly changing. It presents the Flemish and Dutch schools – the works of P.P. Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Hals. Buckingham Palace
The collection of Dutch paintings is especially complete, in which Rembrandt’s large canvas “Jan Ricksel, shipbuilder, and his wife” stands out. It was the first painting purchased by King George IV. It is significant that it was also one of the early paintings of Rembrandt himself. The Gallery presents the exquisite and beautiful “Portrait of Agatha Bas” and the painting “Christ and Mary Magdalene” with its excellent landscape – later works of the artist.
Rembrandt Portrait of Agatha BasThe Art Gallery and State Rooms of Buckingham Palace house only a fraction of the paintings belonging to the British Crown. The royal collection is housed in Winsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Osborne-Hayc and Hollyrood House.
This richest collection includes several thousand paintings, and the collection of drawings and engravings by famous artists (including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael) is unparalleled in the world. That part of the Royal Collection, which is stored in Buckingham Palace, is closed to the general public. You can view the collection (and by no means all of it) only with special permission or at receptions held in the Palace on behalf of the Queen. Elected representatives of English society, ambassadors of foreign states and a very limited number of diplomats are invited to them. Here they can admire the priceless treasures of the Royal Collection.
The Royal Collection itself dates back to the 16th century. Monument to Queen VictoriaAt that time, in the court museums of emperors and kings, it was customary to collect all kinds of rarities, curiosities, works of applied art, coins and medals. And the pictures were going like this – by the way. The English King Henry VIII also had his own small collection – mostly dynastic portraits. But there were also other canvases – on religious subjects.
Already in the first half of the 17th century, the royal collection became the largest treasury in Europe. It owed the increase in its wealth to King Charles I Stuart, who with all his passion indulged in collecting works of Renaissance artists of the 17th century, sparing no funds for their acquisition. He had a fine artistic taste, patronized P.P. Rubens, invited Van Dyck to the post of court painter.
Unsurpassed in value and artistic merit, the Royal Collection, after the execution of King Charles I in 1649, was confiscated by the decision of the Parliament of the English Republic. Many of her masterpieces (for example, the best paintings by Titian) One of the halls of the palace. ( .mov; 0,4Mb) were sold out and ended up in the museums of Madrid, Paris, Vienna.
After Charles I, the largest collector among the English kings was George IV. Buckingham Palace houses, for example, Rubens’s masterpiece, The Farm at Lasken, which he acquired.
Of course, it is impossible even to list all the treasures of the Royal Collection. But in 1961, next to Buckingham Palace, on the site of the royal chapel destroyed during the war by German bombers, a small public gallery was built – the Queen’s Gallery. It sometimes hosts exhibitions of works from the royal collection.
The Ballroom The State Dining Room of Buckingham Palace, decorated with a number of ceremonial portraits, is also open to visitors. Its long mahogany table can accommodate 600 people at the same time. In the center of the dining room, above the fireplace, hangs a huge (almost three meters high) portrait of King George IV in coronation robes. On either side of it are portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte (by A. Ramsay), portraits of Prince Frederick of Wales and Princess Augusta of Wales (by the French artist J.-B. Vanloo, who worked in England in 1737-1742). The last to open at Buckingham Palace is the White Drawing Room. The white-gold tone of its interior dominates everywhere: in architectural details, furniture, lamps, objects of arts and crafts.
Buckingham Palace is a small town with its own police station, 2 post offices, hospital, bar, 2 sports clubs, discotheque, cinema and swimming pool. The palace has about 600 rooms and about 3 miles of red carpets. Two people work full time to oversee the 300 hours of the palace. The staff of this “town” is about 700 people. Buckingham Palace is the working office of the monarchy. The tasks of the attendants are varied: from the maintenance of the palace to the organization of banquets for the heads of other states, ambassadors and award ceremonies. Buckingham Palace. (.mpg; 830 kb)
In summer, the palace is visited by about 30,000 guests who take part in receptions in the royal garden, where there is a lake and waterfalls. The picture of natural nature is complemented by flamingo birds, whose peace is not disturbed even by royal helicopters circling over the garden. Many royal ceremonies start from here, for example. The State Opening of the Sessions of Parliament in autumn or the Queen’s Birthday Ceremony in June. The royal stables with horses, rugs, a magnificent state coach painted by the Italian artist Cipriani, and more modern carriages and vehicles are also open to the public.
The palace is open for entry from 8 August to 5 October.
Inside Buckingham Palace: how Elizabeth II lives
On July 13, 1837, the British Queen Victoria moved from St. James’s Palace to Buckingham, and from that day it became the official residence of the monarchs and remains so to this day. Since 1952, the hostess in it is Elizabeth II. We tell the most intriguing details about what these walls hide.
The Royal Family
Queen Elizabeth II
Territory and area
The palace, together with the adjacent territories, covers an area of 20 hectares, 17 of which are milked for gardens. The palace itself consists of 775 rooms. Of these, 19 are state rooms, 52 are royal chambers and guest rooms, 188 are staff rooms, 92 – offices, 72 – bathrooms.
The palace houses many original works of art. The Queen’s art collection includes works by Rembrandt, Rubens and other artists. The collection also includes French Sèvres porcelain, French and English furniture.
3. Is the queen at home?
When the monarch is in the palace, the royal standard flutters over the roof of the palace.
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4. Visiting the Queen
The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace in August and September. During these months, the main chambers of the palace are open to visitors. But, of course, far from everything is shown to people on excursions. We all saw the Great White Drawing Room, but there is a secret door in it that leads to the Queen’s private apartments, and hardly anyone had guessed about it before. The entrance is disguised as a mirror and a closet – and thus hidden from strangers.
5. City within a city
Many courtiers work in Buckingham. They can enjoy almost all the benefits that are provided for the inhabitants of the palace. It has a cinema, a separate post office and even a huge swimming pool. There was also a bar for the staff, but Her Majesty quickly “turned shop” after some of the employees drank too hard on alcohol. The queen reasoned that she needed sober workers, and the bar was liquidated.
6. Operating room at the ready
Therapist Timothy Evans works at Buckingham Palace. However, his services are focused on the employees of the crown, while the royal family still prefers to undergo treatment in private. But, just in case, a full-fledged operating room is provided in the palace.