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School session

The Georgian 'Selfie': Art of the Conversation Piece.

Pupils participate in a workshop at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
  • The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
  • Friday, 21 Apr 2023 - Friday, 6 Oct 2023
  • Key stage 2, Key stage 3, Key stage 4
  • Art & Design, History
  • Art History, Composition, Drawing techniques, Fashion, Georgians, Historical Interpretation, Learning from paintings, Portraits
  • Details
  • Travel
  • Lunch facilities
  • Access
  • How to book
  • Prices
  • Security



How did the Georgians curate their image without access to the social media we have today?

The ideas influencing art of the period were those of sense, reason and usefulness yet an increasingly consumer led society meant that much of what was made and bought was costly and highly decorative.  People's demand for ‘things’ led to a desire for smaller paintings which were cheaper than large portraits and acted as the equivalent of today's photo album. These 'Conversation Pieces' became the focus for discussions amongst families and friends, in a similar way to the current trend for the 'Selfie' on modern day social media

In this lively, interactive session, students will explore individual portraits and Conversation Pieces in Style and Society: Dressing the Georgians, to discover how artists conveyed the character and status of their sitters. Led by a professional artist, pupils will investigate the Georgian era through their observational drawings of paintings and artefacts in the exhibition, linking them to their understanding of today's world. Pupils will then be encouraged to collaborate to create a unique Conversation Piece using their observations and sketches. 


Session times: 10:15 and 12:30

Duration: 90 minutes

Exclusive access opportunity!! Book your visit on a Tuesday between April and October 2023 and your group will be provided with access to the exhibition and gallery spaces outside of normal visiting opening times.

Available for booking: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays



The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA

By train

London Victoria.  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.  For further information visit the Transport for London website.

Lunch facilities

Lunch facilities

There are no lunch spaces available for groups visiting The Queen's Gallery. Green Park and St James’s Park are located nearby. Lunch room facilities are available at the nearby Girl Guiding UK ICANDO Centre on Buckingham Palace Road. For bookings please telephone 020 7592 1818.



Our learning programmes are designed to be accessible to all pupils.  Most of our sessions can be adapted to meet any educational or access needs your group may have.  Please ask for details when booking.

You may find the information for visitors on the Autism spectrum helpful when planning your visit to The Queen's Gallery. 

How to book

How to book

To find out more or to make a booking contact the Learning Bookings team.

Please have to hand:

  • Preferred date and possible alternatives, plus time of arrival
  • Numbers of children and supervising adults
  • The taught programme you would like
  • Details of any special educational or access needs

You will then be sent a reservation letter, together with your teachers’ resource pack, giving a date by which full payment must be received to secure the booking.

Please note: you may be asked to cover the cost of the session if you cancel within short notice of your visit.  Non-booked schools will be charged at standard group admission rates.  Please see our Terms of Application for Learning Group Admissions.

Contact us

Learning Bookings Team
Ticket Sales and Information Office
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA

T. (+44) (0)303 123 7323
F. (+44) (0)20 7930 9625
[email protected]

Sharing Learning Objectives

You will find our learning objectives for each taught session on the relevant programme information page.  Sending us your learning objectives prior to your visit will help us tailor the session to your group’s requirements.

Planning Visits

Once you have made your booking, we offer two complimentary tickets for you and a colleague to conduct a planning visit.  If you would like to meet a member of the Learning team during this visit, please let us know at the time of booking.

Teachers' Packs for each site can be downloaded here.



Reduced-rate admission for school groups

Pre-booked school groups: £1 per pupil
Children in Reception or below: FREE

Accompanying adults
One teacher or adult helper is admitted free of charge at the following ratios:

Under 5s - 1 adult: 3 pupils
Years 1 to 3 - 1 adult: 6 pupils
Year 4 and above - 1 adult: 10 pupils

Please ask for details of rates for additional adults when booking.




Following your booking a confirmation letter, with an agreed arrival time, will be sent to you; your letter serves as a ticket for your group. The group leader must have a copy of the confirmation letter to present on arrival.

Security Measures

Royal Collection Trust sites have airport-style security measures at all public entry points, through which all visitors, including school groups, are required to enter.  All adults and children will be asked to:

  • Allow any bags to be searched by hand
  • Walk through a metal detector arch, one at a time
  • Switch off mobile phones

The Royal Collection Trust Learning section asks that teachers undertake the following guidelines to make entry to Royal Collection Trust sites as smooth and quick as possible:

  • Please arrive at the Royal Collection Trust site at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the booked workshop
  • Teachers and children should not bring the following: scissors, compasses, metal cutlery, sharp metallic implements
  • Only bring what you need! The Royal Collection Trust Learning section will provide all necessary equipment such as clipboards, pencils and drawing materials (groups can bring their own sketchbooks if they prefer to use these)