There are several areas of the Royal Pavilion which are not included as part of the standard tour. Some of these rooms are reserved for private hire. Others are areas of the building which cannot be accessed for health and safety reasons.
The Royal Pavilion tunnel
This tunnel links the Royal Pavilion with Brighton Dome, the former stables. Although it’s often believed that George used secret tunnels to meet his illegal wife Maria Fitzherbert, their relationship was quite open in Brighton. This tunnel was built in 1821 — long after George’s relationship with Mrs Fitzherbert had ended.
The tunnel was built at a time when George IV was grossly overweight and unpopular with his subjects. He used the tunnel to cross the estate without being seen, so he could visit his beloved horses in private.
In this video clip, former Keeper of the Royal Pavilion Andrew Barlow introduces the tunnel and its purpose.
The Saloon Bottle
The Bottle is a series of rooms inside the large dome above the Saloon. It can only be accessed through a narrow winding staircase.
The Saloon Bottle was formerly used by royal servants. Long closed to the public, the walls still bear graffiti from occupants and visitors dating back to the nineteenth century.
The Red Drawing Room
The opulent Red Drawing Room retains much of George IV’s original 1820s decorative style, with red dragon wallpaper and palm tree pillars.
The room is now dedicated to civil ceremonies. It is also available to hire for small-scale corporate events, such as drinks receptions.
William IV Room
The WIlliam IV Room features beautiful hand-painted Chinese style wallpaper, with a view of the Royal Pavilion’s Regency gardens. It is available for private hire, and is occasionally used for lectures and other public events.