King Charles Has Opened A Historically Significant Room At Buckingham Palace To Visitors For The First Time, Marking A Royal Milestone

King Charles Has Opened A Historically Significant Room At Buckingham Palace To Visitors For The First Time, Marking A Royal Milestone

The newly-restored Centre Room, where the royal family traditionally gathers before iconic balcony appearances, will be accessible to the public starting July 15.

This room has hosted royal celebrations such as coronations, weddings, and jubilees, and notably served as the setting for the King’s final Christmas Day message in December.

Visitors now have the opportunity to stand in the Centre Room, enjoying the same view down the Mall that the King and his family experience from its windows.Centre Room in Buckingham Palace

As part of the East Wing guided tour, tourists can explore this lavishly decorated room, which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert added to the Palace between 1847 and 1849 to accommodate their expanding family. Notably, visitors will get to see the room without the usual television set used by the royals to observe crowds on the Mall before stepping out.

Caroline de Guitaut, Surveyor of the King’s Works of Art at the Royal Collection Trust, says: “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. But it began to be used very early on in Queen Victoria’s reign, from 1851 waving off the troops to the Crimean War and welcoming them back on return.”

Visitors are not permitted to access the balcony or take photographs, but they can appreciate the opulent tastes of George IV through a remarkable collection of artworks, furniture, and decorations brought to London by Queen Victoria from his holiday residence, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

The collection includes portraits of monarchs, Chinese celadon vases, lamps, pagodas mounted on gilt bronze, George IV’s sofas and chairs, and a room adorned with meticulously restored hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper. This wallpaper was carefully removed, cleaned, preserved, and reinstated in the Yellow Drawing Room over a two-year period during renovation work.

The decision to open the East Wing to visitors reflects the King’s commitment to enhancing public access to royal residences.

“His Majesty is very much behind this, he has very much wanted to see everything and has been through the spaces,” says Caroline. “It’s his decision to make a publicly accessible. And it’s obviously a tremendous benefit to make these spaces accessible to the public for the first time, given that that was previously not the case.”

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