Although the Royal Pavilion will always be chiefly associated with King George IV, the palace was also used as a royal residence by William IV and Queen Victoria.
William IV and a more subdued palace
On his death in 1830, George was succeeded by his younger brother, William IV. William IV was a popular and affable king and continued to visit Brighton and stay at the Royal Pavilion. As George IV had become reclusive towards the end of his life, the people of Brighton were reassured by William’s visibility and openness.
However, the Royal Pavilion’s accommodation was not suitable for a married sovereign and extra room had to be found for Queen Adelaide’s extensive household. Further buildings were added to the Pavilion Estate, virtually all of which have since been demolished.
Although William and Adelaide continued to entertain at the Royal Pavilion, it was in a much more informal style than the glamour and extravagance of former decades.
The young Queen Victoria
King William IV died in 1837 and was succeeded on the throne by his niece, Victoria.
Queen Victoria made her first visit to the Royal Pavilion in 1837 and this gesture of royal approval thrilled the people of Brighton.
However the style of the Royal Pavilion, and its association with her extravagant and indulgent elder uncle, made Queen Victoria feel uncomfortable. She adopted a policy of financial stringency during her residence in Brighton.
As her family grew, and the Royal Pavilion failed to provide her with the space and privacy she needed, she finally sold her uncle’s pleasure palace to the town of Brighton for £50,000 in 1850. As it was thought the Pavilion would be demolished, she ordered the building to be stripped of all its interior decorations, fittings and furnishings, for use in other royal homes.