Inside Buckingham Palace as the East Wing opens its doors for the first time

Inside Buckingham Palace as the East Wing opens its doors for the first time

On Thursday July 11 Buckingham Palace will open its doors for visitors to enjoy the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms, however for some lucky ticket holders there will be the opportunity to see a part of the Palace usually kept under wraps.

From Monday July 15 the East Wing will open its doors to allow royal fans a glimpse into the 175-year-old win forming the famous façade of the Palace.

Guides will lead groups of tourists around a selection of rooms on the East Wing’s Principal Floor, including the room where the Royal Family gather before stepping out for their famous balcony appearances.

Unfortunately for some tickets for the East Wing Highlights Tour have already sold out, although tickets for a tour of State Rooms can still be purchased for dates up to September 29, with a chance to see King Charles’s new portrait by Jonathan Yeo on display.

Here takes a behind-the-scenes look at what is on offer in the East Wing and some of the fabulous objects and art to be admired.

The East Wing’s Yellow Drawing Room is principally used as a reception room, and was also where Queen Elizabeth II used to sit to have her portrait painted.

Like much of the East Wing it is decorated with items from Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, which was stripped in the 19th century and had many items of furniture carted to London to furnish the Palace.

As well as its glorious colour scheme, highlights of the room include its spectacular gilded curtain poles, the hand painted Chinese wallpaper and the fireplace.

(Image: Royal Collection Enterprises Limited 2024 | Royal Collection Trust/Peter Smith)

Woman tidies up in front of fireplace

A staff member prepares the Yellow Drawing Room for visitors, as she stands in front of the Kylin Clock, which combines a Chinese porcelain design with a French clock.

The item also features two turquoise Chinese lions and has recently been conserved, alongside the wallpaper which dates from the 18th century.

Almost all of the furniture in the East Wing has had to be taken out as the Palace continues its extensive renovation, with all the floorboards being taken up and the wiring replaced, amongst other changes.

(Image: Royal Collection Enterprises Limited 2024 | Royal Collection Trust)

Woman dusts model pagoda

Much of the furniture is inspired by the Chinoiserie art and design movement which swept across Europe in the 18th century.

Many of these countries took inspiration from travels to China and Japan, and this Asian influence can be seen in many of the items on display in the East Wing.

Notable examples include the pagodas lining the Principal Corridor and the dragon motif found throughout, especially in the painted lantern in the Yellow Drawing Room.

(Image: Royal Collection Enterprises Limited 2024 | Royal Collection Trust)

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