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A State Banquet at Buckingham Palace


Buckingham Palace

  • Daily (Monday, 28 Jul 2008 - Monday, 29 Sep 2008)

For the first time ever and for this summer only, visitors to Buckingham Palace will experience the spectacle of the Ballroom set up for a State Banquet. Held in honour of a visiting Head of State, the State Banquet is the occasion when The Queen entertains around 170 guests on the first evening of a State Visit. During Her Majesty’s reign, seventy-seven State Banquets have been held at Buckingham Palace, eighteen at Windsor Castle and two at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The State Banquet at Windsor for the President of the French Republic and Madame Nicolas Sarkozy on 26 March was the 97th hosted by The Queen since her accession in 1952.

At this year’s Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, the horseshoe-shaped table traditionally used at State Banquets will be set with dazzling silver-gilt from the Grand Service and adorned with magnificent flower arrangements. Lavish displays of tureens, dishes, ornamental cups and fine English and Continental porcelain will flank the table.  Film footage will show the behind-the-scenes work of Royal Household staff, including chefs, footmen, pages, florists and housemaids, who ensure the highest standards of presentation and delivery.

Exhibition highlights

Rockingham Works [Yorkshire] (c. 1745-1842)

Coronation Service

Rockingham Works [Yorkshire] (c. 1745-1842)

Three-tier dessert stand

Paul Storr (1771-1844)

Sideboard dish

John Bridge (1755-1834)

Pilgrim flask

Map & directions

Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Gate, London, SW1A 1AA
By train

London Victoria or London Charing Cross.  Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By underground

Victoria, Green Park, St. James's Park and Hyde Park Corner.  For further information visit the Transport for London website.

By coach / bus

Bus numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.  Victoria Coach Station is a 10-minute walk from the Palace.