Think you can only visit the interior of Buckingham Palace during the summer months? Wrong… You can visit The Queen’s Gallery all year round! It may not have the magnificence of the State Rooms, but it’s actually inside the Palace and shows artworks from the Queen’s vast ‘Royal Collection’! Yes, it’s a privately owned collection; technically ‘held by the Queen in right of the crown’.
Upon the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, went on a buying spree of priceless artworks around Europe. No doubt, making up for the sale of his executed father’s (Charles I) collection – sold off by the Puritan government. (D’oh….)
Showing now, is an exhibition of artwork from the time of Charles II. A fabulous collection, expertly curated – an accessible display of the art and history of the tumultuous Stuart period.
The charger above dates from 1680. A few years after his fathers execution, Charles II sailed to England to try and rally Royalist forces. He failed, and famously resorted to hiding in an oak tree in Shropshire, England to evade capture – before escaping back to France. The story of the ‘Royal Oak’ subsequently spawned the naming of hundreds of pubs across England.
(Tip: you can take photographs inside the gallery. Don’t be shy posing next to the priceless artworks for a mantelpiece memento back home! Also your ticket provides all year access, so if you time it right…).