You have seen the British royals on the balcony many, many, times, but have you seen the room beyond the door behind them?
When the Royal Family is on the balcony of the Palace, they have stepped out from the Centre Room. There is sometimes a brief glimpse of an exotic-looking chandelier, but nothing more to suggest that behind the Palace’s façade lies this unseen fantasy room. Originally Queen Victoria’s Tapestry Drawing Room, it was redecorated by Queen Mary in 1922 into a more “binding” Chinese theme. This was Queen Mary in her prime, so nothing was done halfway.
You can catch a peek of the chandelier in these photos.
Step through this door, and let’s take a tour of this incredible room.
This photo is a wonderful example of the chinoiserie used to great effect in this room. The fireplace, paintings, and sideboards are all from the Brighton Banqueting Room. The silk panel on the left is part of a set of six made from Chinese Imperial yellow silk. It’s possible that they are items sent by the emperor of China to Queen Victoria to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The door to the balcony again – this time in full technicolor! This is where the Royal Family emerges onto the balcony on State occasions. Directly ahead is the gilded Victoria Memorial. On the right is a close-up showing the elaborate embroidery used on the Chinese silk draperies. Take note of the ornate glass chandelier. One of many from Brighton. They were all painted with Chinese motifs on etched glass, edged with glass ‘pearls’.
Let’s take a closer look at the decor. The room is filled with Chinese regency furnishings.
Quite a room, correct? It’s fitting that we leave with this elegant (and eerie) night photo of the Her Majesty and Prince Philip on the balcony, right off the Centre Room.