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Queen Victoria's Palace
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

The exhibition

Queen Victoria’s Palace tells the story of Buckingham Palace’s transformation from an unloved royal residence into the premier home of the British monarchy. Together with Prince Albert, Queen Victoria changed not only the fabric of the building itself but also the relationship of the monarchy with the nation. Her vision that a modern palace should fulfil two roles, one public the other private, still governs Buckingham Palace today.

A new beginning

Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace almost immediately after she became queen

Architectural sketch of the East Gallery Buckingham Palace
East Gallery

Buckingham Palace was transformed during Queen Victoria's reign

A coloured lithograph of the Imperial State crown with a blue velvet cap and the Black Prince's ruby in the centre; with four commemorative coins and the mace on a red velvet cushion trimmed with gold. With an inscription below: T
The Coronation

Queen Victoria was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 28 June 1838

A watercolour showing a detailed interior view of the Queen's Sitting Room at Buckingham Palace. Signed and dated. 
The pictures shown on the walls are all newly painted portraits of close members of Queen Victoria's family. Over the m
Creating a family home

Queen Victoria set about transforming Buckingham Palace to meet the needs of her growing family

Watercolour of the Pavilion Breakfast Room, May 1850
Building the East Front

The most visible change introduced by Queen Victoria was the East Front of the palace

The most glamorous of all Queen Victoria’s surviving clothes, this costume was inspired by the court of Charles II. The rich brocade of the underskirt was woven in Benares. The lace of the berthe is a copy of seventeenth-century Venetian raised-poin

Victoria frequently held concerts and recitals at the palace

A design for the front and side of the organ at the east end of the Ball Room in Buckingham Palace. This is one of a series of designs for the Ball Room and Supper Room by Sir James Pennethorne in 1852, approved by Prince Albert (see a
Building a ballroom

The large new ballroom designed by James Pennethorne allowed the palace to host large numbers of guests

A watercolour of a ball, with the Queen seated on her throne at the far end of the room. Signed and dated.
The new Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, designed by Sir James Pennethorne, opened in May 1856. The interior decoration was supervised by Ludwig Grune
The Crimean War and the Ball of 1856

Buckingham Palace was the centre for national commemoration of the Crimean War

The State Dining Room table at Buckingham Palace laid for a banquet
State Dining Room

The table is laid with works from the Minton dessert service

An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in
The Music Room and Bow Room

Victoria continued to use Buckingham Palace after entering mourning for her husband's death

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.