The Queen's unseen secret rooms at Buckingham Palace

Only a few lucky guests will get to see these private rooms at Buckingham Palace

Chloe Best

The Queen's London residence Buckingham Palace, where she has lived since 1952, has 775 rooms – and many of them are top secret. While the public has seen inside the lavish State Rooms and spectacular Picture Gallery, there are a number of hidden rooms that are only for royal eyes, privileged guests or members of staff. From a cinema to an indoor swimming pool, discover the surprising additions to this royal residence…

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1. The Queen's Cinema

Like celebrities including Khloe Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Jennifer Lawrence, the Queen also has her very own home cinema at Buckingham Palace. However, it is for staff use rather than the royal family themselves. BBC journalist Emily Maitlis revealed she saw the staff cinema being set up in the Palace's south drawing room when she went to interview Prince Andrew in November.

"The floor is being transformed by palace workmen. It looks for a minute as if railway tracks are going down," Emily wrote in The Times. She then spoke to a staff member, who told her: "It's for the Buckingham Palace cinema. All the people who work here come along. It's Judy tonight if you want to stay.'"


Buckingham Palace has a private cinema and post office

2. The Queen's Post Office

All 800 Buckingham Palace staff can make use of the Court Post Office within Buckingham Palace, which is run by Royal Mail. A photo at the IWM shares a glimpse at what it looked like in 1941, however, we imagine it has changed greatly since then!

MORE: Why the Queen never wanted to live at Buckingham Palace

3. The Queen's Chapel

The private chapel at Buckingham Palace was created by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844 in what had been designed as a conservatory. However, it was destroyed in a German bombing raid in 1940, and it has now been relocated within the south-eastern part of the palace.

4. The Queen's Doctor's Office

The Royal Mews Surgery is located at Buckingham Palace and is run by the Queen's GP, Dr Timothy Evans. It offers NHS healthcare to royal household staff, while the royal family prefer to be treated privately.

5. The Queen's Secret entrance to the State Apartments


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There is a secret doorway in the White Drawing Room

Visitors to Buckingham Palace during the summer opening of the State Rooms will pass through the grand White Drawing Room, but did you know it has a secret doorway leading to the Queen's private state apartments? Disguised as a mirror and cabinet and typically concealed from view, it is where the Queen makes her entrance ahead of audiences and small gatherings.

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6. The Queen's Indoor Swimming Pool

Buckingham Palace is home to a full-size swimming pool, which can be used by both staff and members of the royal family. Prince William and Kate took Prince George for private swimming lessons at the pool, and it is likely they have since done the same for his younger siblings, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte. 

7. The Queen's ATM Machine  

In 2001, the now-former head of Coutts bank, Gordon Pell, confirmed to The Standard that there is indeed an ATM inside Buckingham Palace. It is tucked away in the Palace basement and reserved for the royal family.

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