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About The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

A watercolour depicting a topographical interior view of the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace.
Morison was commissioned in 1843 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who became keen collectors of the fashionable nineteenth-century watercolour genre of i

The Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace ©

From conservatory to private chapel

The building that originally stood on the site of the current Queen’s Gallery was designed by John Nash as one of Buckingham Palace’s three identical conservatories or pavilions in the form of Ionic temples. It was constructed on the south-west corner of the Palace, facing the garden, and was completed in 1831. The conservatory was converted into a private chapel for Queen Victoria in 1843, but destroyed in an air raid in 1940.

At the suggestion of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, the ruined chapel was redeveloped as a gallery for the Royal Collection in 1962. 


Redesigning to mark the Golden Jubilee

In 1997 a competition was held for the appointment of an architect to expand and modernise the Gallery as a celebration of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. John Simpson & Partners, the newly appointed project architects' role included creating a new entrance, improving the access, making the gallery spaces more flexible and adding state-of-the-art environmental controls.

For the new entrance portico the architect used a design similar in style to John Nash's design for the Quadrangle of Buckingham Palace. High on either side of the entrance hall are two friezes (symbolising the reign of The Queen) and four relief panels (representing the Patron Saints of the United Kingdom).

In the main gallery area, the new design provided much more display space; with the three gallery rooms allowing a variety of combinations for special exhibitions. The Nash Gallery formed the major part of the original Queen’s Gallery of the 1960s, but was entirely rebuilt internally.


Exhibition in The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace ©

The newest addition to Buckingham Palace

The £20-million expansion of The Queen’s Gallery was the most significant addition to Buckingham Palace in 150 years. The project was funded entirely by Royal Collection Trust through public admissions to the official residences of The Queen and through associated retail activities. The project involved stone masons, wood carvers, craftsmen working in plaster, copper and bronze, joiners, blacksmiths, painters and cabinet-makers.

The Queen’s Gallery was opened by The Queen in May 2002, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. See the latest exhibition on our main Gallery page, or look for specific events taking place at the Gallery