Author Topic: Royal Interiors, Part II  (Read 153034 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #270 on: January 27, 2011, 11:07:44 AM »
Quite so.  Ahem. :~)

Naturally I imagine the Queen has the final say about how all rooms are arranged and used.  The occupied royal palaces are, after all, maintained to serve the monarch.  The prior poster is probably correct, any changes in the use of historic and priceless art and furnishings from the royal collection would probably require a consult with that department's experts.  If the Queen said "I do believe I'd like to get rid of that horrid painting on my dressing room wall and replace it with that one in the store room downstairs", I hardly think anyone who challenge her wish.  But if she said "I think I'd like to put a few of those DaVinci drawings under the glass blotter on my writing desk" I'd bet some Royal Collection Print Room expert might reply "Well Ma'am, that might not be a good idea."

As far as decisions about how the areas are used - that may also ultimately rest with the Queen, but not entirely.  Unlike one's private home, palaces are predominantly office and function buildings.  There are hundreds of people who live and work there every day, and many thousands of visitors each year.  The majority of the palace's interior is staff offices and work areas, staff living quarters, etc, not living quarters for the royals.

I don't doubt for a minute the Queen could make whatever changes she wished to her private rooms.  If she chose to hold audiences with foreign ambassadors in the State Dining Room, or the Throne Room, or the Center Room above the balcony, that could be easily accommodated.  But she's not likely to unilaterally make changes to the rest of the palace without input and agreement from a whole lot of other people.  And if changes cost money - that's even more complicated.




Naslednik Norvezhskiy

  • Guest
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #271 on: January 27, 2011, 11:17:05 AM »
A funny consideration along the same line to ponder: Is the Queen and RF considered the top bosses of the household / palace staff or rather like VIP customers / clients?
Perhaps the slogan the customer is always right is no place more true than in "the firm", as Prince Philip called it?


Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #272 on: January 27, 2011, 01:35:55 PM »
I would think your first statement would be most accurate:  The Queen is the the boss, not a client.   Everything we are allowed to see about the inner workings of the household illustrate that the entire household works very hard to meet the standards the Queen sets and expects.

That said, carrying out the boss' directions seems to be a very nuanced process.  For example, I recall seeing videos of the Queen inspecting the State Rooms ahead of a banquet, or viewing an exhibition ahead of the summer openings of Buckingham Palace.  She's always accompanied by one or more senior staff who are no doubt highly connected to the Queen's own method of conveying pleasure or displeasure.  In those videos, I've never seen the Queen say anything pointed or direct (such as:  "Oh, that flower arrangement is too large, please have it changed around to be lower profile").  Instead, she's more likely to make an observation "I should think it may be a bit difficult for some to see across that table."  The staff would recognize this as a directive, and convey the Queen's preferences to whomever down the ladder is responsible. 

Offline Ridgeway

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #273 on: February 12, 2011, 11:04:49 AM »
A link to a picture of the Duke of Edinburgh sitting at his desk in Buckingham Palace in his private study. Not to my taste! http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/microsites/princephilip/MicroObject.asp?item=3&themeid=1936&object=2506962&row=3

Offline toddy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • I Love YaBB 2!
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #274 on: February 13, 2011, 06:38:29 PM »
does anyone have any pictures or floor-plans of the upper part of Windsor castle?  just curious about all those rooms in the towers  and what they are used for.

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #275 on: February 14, 2011, 10:21:50 AM »
I've also often wondered about those Tower rooms; I've NEVER seen any pictures or plans of those, or heard about their current use. 

Since we know that on the main floor, the Queen and Duke's private rooms are in the East range (south of the Crimson & Green Drawing Rooms), and the south range of that floor contains the principal guest bedrooms, I think it likely that the upper floors of these ranges (the Towers) house additional guest and royal bedrooms and probably also bedrooms for staff.

Offline architect

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #276 on: February 16, 2011, 07:10:40 AM »
I am currently reading a book written by Stephen Barry, Prince Charles' former valet.  In it he describes Prince Charles' private apartments at Windsor being directly above those of the Queens in the Queen's Tower. 

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #277 on: February 16, 2011, 01:41:08 PM »
While recently scanning the Monarchy's website, I stumbled on a page describing the agenda for the State Visit paid by the President of the Republic of South Africa last year.  I noticed the following item in that itinerary:

5 March 2010
The President of the Republic of South Africa will attend a working Breakfast with principals of British and South African Industry in the South Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.


I don't believe I've ever heard of "the South Drawing Room" at Buckingham Palace before.  I've read that what is today called the Blue Drawing Room used to be known by this name - could that be it, or is there another "South Drawing Room" today?  If not, why would an official BP document use the old name?

Offline architect

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #278 on: February 16, 2011, 03:03:20 PM »
I wonder if they could be referring to the Yellow Drawing Room.  It is on the south side of the East Front and I believe connects to the suite of rooms used for visiting dignitaries on the East Front - any other thoughts?

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #279 on: February 17, 2011, 07:47:19 AM »
True, I suppose it could be the Yellow Drawing Room, although I've not heard that name used before.  I'd also wonder why the President (who was staying in the Belgian Suite and would have use of most of the semi-state rooms on the ground floor, west wing) would need to use a drawing room at the opposite corner of the palace to host a function.

Oh wait, I just re-read the statement carefully.  It said he was "attending a working breakfast", which may differ from "hosting an official breakfast".  Maybe that means the President's entourage hosted the meal, and he was merely a participant.  If I'm not mistaken, a foreign leader's senior staff stay in the guest bedrooms in the east wing, so the Yellow Drawing Room would probably be used as their common sitting / dining room.  (Probably answered my own question!)  :~)


Offline Windsor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #280 on: March 29, 2011, 09:11:03 AM »
Does anyone know if all Queens since Victoria first occupied Buckingham Palace have used the same apartments as Queen Elizabeth II?  Same configuration?  If so, is this because this is the "best suite" in the house or just a matter of tradition?

Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #281 on: March 29, 2011, 01:09:25 PM »
To the best of my knowledge the answer would be yes.  According to the floor plans I have, the North Range (private apartments) consists of 2 sets / suites of private apartments toward the center of the range, flanked at either end by a set of more common / reception rooms.  From the northeast corner (near the Mall) heading West (toward the Garden), the order of rooms is (or at least used to be):

3 Semi-State Rooms (which I believe are shared / common rooms used by all of the palace's royal residents)
The good-sized Chinese Luncheon Room
The Small Chinese Room
The Indian Room

Then the King's Apartments:
King's Writing Room,
King's Sitting Room
King's Bedroom
King's Dressing Room and Bath.

Then the Queen's Apartments:
Queen's Dressing Room and Bath
Queen's Bedroom
Anteroom
Queen's Sitting Room (with the famous bow window)

After that are 4 other modest sized rooms
One is the Private Dining Room
One I believe is called the Sheraton Room
One is called the Empire Room on the old plans

Queen Victoria occupied The Queen's Apartments, while her mother the Duchess of Kent occupied the King's Apartments.  But since the apartments are shown on the plans as "The King's Apartments" and "The Queen's Apartments", I assume they remained as such during the next 3 reigns (Edward VII, George V and George VI), and today, Elizabeth II occupies the Queen's Apartments while Prince Phillip occupies the King's.

Offline Windsor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #282 on: March 30, 2011, 08:47:25 AM »
Thanks, CHRISinUSA.  You are always a wealth of information and I enjoy reading your posts :-)

I am sure I am not the only one fascinated with the Queen and how she lives.  I wonder if the Queen has a similar set of rooms at each of her other residences or if she lives differently?


Offline CHRISinUSA

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 844
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #283 on: March 30, 2011, 01:22:59 PM »
How gracious, thank you.  I do share your interest in how the royals live (and in royal architecture), so it is something I digest as much as I can find.  In response to your inquiry about other royal residences - the answer is - it depends on the residence.

At Windsor, the Queen has a private set of rooms in the Queen's Tower (sitting room, bedroom, dressing room, bath), with an audience room adjoining the tower in the south range (usually called the Visitor Apartments).  Prince Phillip's also has his own set of rooms further down that range between the Queen's Tower and the Semi-State Rooms (White, Green and Red Drawing Rooms).  This is the same general set-up as in Victoria's time - although today I'm not entirely sure what each room is named, nor which ones belong to the Queen or Prince exclusively, and which are shared / common rooms. 

At Balmoral, the Queen and Duke's private rooms lie directly above the main reception rooms (Drawing Room, Library).  Floor plans I've seen show a series of 5-6 rooms along that range, including bedrooms, dressing rooms and sitting rooms, although not sure how they are laid-out.

I've never seen floor plans (or many photos) of the private quarters at Sandringham nor Hollyroodhouse, so I'm no help there.  I do know that at Hollyroodhouse, Victoria and Albert originally used the 1st floor (2nd floor to us Americans) private apartments which were are called the King's Apartments and today open to tour.  After Albert's death, Victoria moved to a suite above on the upper floor which might today be the present private royal apartments (but not 100% sure). 

Offline Nikola

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile
Re: Royal Interiors, Part II
« Reply #284 on: April 29, 2011, 04:02:59 PM »
NEW VIRTUAL ROOMS on The British Monarchy Web Site!!!!

The Throne Room and The Blue Drawing Room


http://www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalResidences/BuckinghamPalace/VirtualRooms/Overview.aspx