A Prince’s Treasure
From Buckingham Palace to the Royal Pavilion
The Royal Collection Returns to Brighton
This exhibition is now closed.
Extended to 9 January 2022
Free with Royal Pavilion admission, members free
A spectacular loan from Her Majesty The Queen is on display at the Royal Pavilion. The culmination of a collaborative venture between Royal Collection Trust and the Royal Pavilion & Museums, over 120 remarkable decorative works of art that were originally commissioned by the Prince Regent, have been relocated from Buckingham Palace and re-united in their previous setting of the Royal Pavilion.
This unique project lasting for approximately 2 years provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to see these magnificent items in their former home. Many of the works of decorative art have not been on public display for over 170 years and are on loan to the Royal Pavilion whilst essential building works in the East Wing of Buckingham Palace take place. These magnificent items illuminate the interpretation within the building, helping to further our understanding of the future George IV’s love for his exotic palace by the sea, and the spirit and times in which he collected these rare and fascinating pieces.
The Royal Pavilion was arguably George IV’s most exotic extravagance. He first visited Brighton when he was the Prince of Wales and was thrilled to be able to enjoy the delights of the town away from the formality of the Royal court in London. He soon commissioned Henry Holland and later the Architect John Nash to transform his original humble lodging house into a palace fit for a Prince, adding domes and minarets and furnishing the interior in the most lavish and opulent style. He sent his most trusted courtiers to purchase beautiful wallpapers and ceramics imported from China and commissioned the designers Frederick Crace and Robert Jones to make his romantic and fantastical visions a reality. The Prince loved Chinese inspired design and employed the most talented craftsmen to make items designed in the Chinoserie style.
Many of these decorative ornaments and works of art were removed to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle by Queen Victoria in 1847 when it was thought that the Royal Pavilion might be demolished. Over the years some items of original Pavilion decoration have been returned by monarchs including George VI and Elizabeth II, but some of the items returning on loan from the Royal Collection have not been on public display for many years, having been in rooms at Buckingham Palace not on the visitor route.
The items include the majestic 15 foot high porcelain pagodas, originally commissioned for the Music Room and the famous Kylin clock, an extraordinary golden extravaganza featuring turquoise Chinese lions, then often known as Kylins, which was originally made for the Saloon.
Discover more about the items on the Royal Collection Trust website.
Find out more about the life and times of the exuberant King George IV at the George IV: Art & Spectacle exhibition that was on show at Buckingham Palace.