Buckingham Palace to reveal how the Queen's home was transformed into main royal residence

As part of a special exhibition at the palace this summer

Chloe Best

Buckingham Palace visitors will get a fascinating insight into how the palace was transformed from an unloved royal residence into the Queen's London base during an exhibition over the summer. The special exhibition, Queen Victoria's Palace, is being held at the residence during its annual summer opening from July in honour of the 200th anniversary of Victoria's birth.

Queen Victoria renovated the unused palace when she became monarch in 1837 at the age of 18, and moved in just three weeks later. The building had been left empty for seven years after the death of Victoria's uncle, George IV, and many of the rooms were left undecorated and unfurnished.


Queen Victoria's ballgown will go on display as part of the Queen Victoria's Palace exhibition

The young Queen was advised not to move in until it could be improved to a suitable standard, but Victoria wanted to move in immediately. After seeing the potential in the residence and due to the needs of her growing family, in 1845 Victoria was granted funds to extend the palace and made renovations that are still recognised and loved today.

GALLERY: When royals take us inside their homes

One of the main changes was the addition of the East Wing to the front, introducing the famous central balcony, where the royals have gathered annually for Trooping the Colour and to celebrate several royal weddings ever since. A new ballroom was also added to the State Rooms because the others were too small for Victoria's plans for a series of elaborate balls and concerts.


Queen Victoria's renovations included added the East Wing to the Palace

Visitors to Buckingham Palace between July and September will be able to imagine the ballroom as Victoria and Albert would have known it due to a Victorian Illusion technique known as Pepper's Ghost.

MORE: Inside Prince William and Kate's house at Kensington Palace

The Royal Collection said: "This year's Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will tell the story of how the young monarch turned an unloved royal residence into the centre of the social, cultural and official life of the country." It added: "Visitors will learn how Victoria made Buckingham Palace what it remains today - the headquarters of the monarchy, a rallying point for national celebrations and a family home."

Queen Victoria's Palace is part of a visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, and is open from 20 July to 29 September 2019.

See inside the 2018 Buckingham Palace exhibition

Loading the player...

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.