A Royal Welcome

 

A Royal Welcome, The Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, until 27th September 2015.

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace prepared for a State Banquet Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace prepared for a State Banquet
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

It is hard to imagine the idea, living in a small flat, that as many as sixty-two thousand guests were invited to Buckingham Palace last year. They came to Garden Parties, receptions, Investitures, private audiences and finally and certainly not least State Visits with their full panoply of splendour.

The Australian State Coach, on display at the Grand Entrance. It is used as part of the arrival procession on the first day of a State Visit. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The Australian State Coach, on display at the Grand Entrance. It is used as part of the arrival procession on the first day of a State Visit.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

For the first time this year visitors to the Summer Opening are allowed to enter the Palace through the Grand Entrance. As you do so you will pass the Australian State Coach which was used to bring Prince Philip and Señora Rivera de Peña, wife of the President of the United Mexican States, in the procession which brought the Queen and the Mexican President to the Palace at the commencement of their State Visit in March this year.

Knighting Stool Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Knighting Stool
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

As you progress through the State Rooms you will come upon displays that reflect the various reasons why guests are invited. In the Throne Room Investitures is the theme with a display of orders, the Knighting Stool and sword as well as paintings of recipients of the Order of Merit.

Salt cellar acquired by George I, c.1721 and placed in front of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at a State Banquet. It contains two compartments - one for salt, the other mustard. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Salt cellar acquired by George I, c.1721 and placed in front of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at a State Banquet. It contains two compartments – one for salt, the other mustard.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The State Banquet in the Ballroom is the highlight of a State Visit and this year visitors see how the table is set-out for a banquet. It is a truly impressive sight with pieces from George IV’s silver-gilt Grand Service adorning the table which has one hundred and seventy place settings. It must be even more spectacular when the Queen and her guests are there.

Historic copper mould used to make ice cream bombes, served at State Banquets Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Historic copper mould used to make ice cream bombes, served at State Banquets
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Just before you go into the Ballroom you pass through the Ball Supper Room which has displays showing some of the behind-the-scenes preparations for a State banquet including the kitchens, silver and china pantries and the wine cellars. The recreation of the Dresser’s workroom includes items worn by the Queen and in adjoining displays there are some of her evening gowns worn at Banquets over the years as well as some of her personal diamond jewellery which she wears with them.

Tree of Life - a traditional Mexican clay sculpture, presented to The Queen by the President of the United Mexican States, 2015 Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Tree of Life – a traditional Mexican clay sculpture, presented to The Queen by the President of the United Mexican States, 2015
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

In the State Dining Room some of the gifts presented to Her Majesty by visiting Heads of State are on show. It is customary for gifts to be exchanged on the first day of a State Visit as a token of goodwill. Garden Parties are celebrated in the display in the Music Room. As you leave the Palace through the Bow Room the doors are open to the 1844 Drawing Room on the right which is set up for a meeting of the Privy Council. It is also the room where new Ambassadors present their credentials to the Queen and where she receives people in audience.

Centrepiece in use during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Centrepiece in use during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Visitors to the Summer Opening always get a most warm and friendly welcome from all the attendants on duty which helps make it such a special pleasure to visit the Palace. What this year’s theme does is show how very special and wonderful it is to be invited as a guest of Her Majesty the Queen.

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace set up for a State Banquet. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace set up for a State Banquet.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

 

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

2 comments on “A Royal Welcome

  1. This is high on our wish list!

  2. Emma says:

    Amazing! I want as well!

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