Members of the royal family may have a surprise when they gather at Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour celebrations in June, due to the extensive renovation works that are underway in the royal residence. The royals congregate on the balcony in the East Wing of the palace each year, but essential re-servicing work means this part of the palace currently looks completely different.
Photos shared on Twitter by The Royal Family account show how around 3,000 pieces from the Royal Collection have been removed from the Chinese Drawing Room, the Yellow Drawing Room and the Centre Room to allow for the work to take place.
Extensive renovations are underway at Buckingham Palace
Before and after photos in the Principal Corridor that leads onto the balcony show how it looks almost unrecognisable once the historic pieces of artwork have been taken down, the furniture removed, and plush red carpets lifted to display the wooden floorboards underneath.
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The pieces have been moved to ensure they are protected while electrics and pipework are replaced, and improvements to accessibility are made throughout the East Wing. Some of the artwork will be displayed at other locations within the palace, while others will go on display in other royal residences. Around 150 works of art will also go on loan to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, where they will be publicly displayed at the location for which they were originally bought under the reign of George IV.
Before and after photos were shared on the royal family's Twitter account
The renovation work at the Palace comes ahead of a special exhibition during the Summer Opening of the State Rooms in July which will chart how Queen Victoria transformed the previously unloved royal residence into the monarch’s official London base. 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.
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The former monarch’s renovations included the construction of the East Wing and famous balcony, as well as a new ballroom, because the others were too small for her plans for a series of elaborate balls and concerts.
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