Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

London Sights

The Queen's Gallery

  • Buckingham Palace Rd. Map It
  • Museum/Gallery

Updated 02/27/2014

Fodor's Review

Technically speaking, the sovereign doesn't "own" the rare and exquisite works of art in the Royal Collection, she merely holds them in trust for the nation—and what a collection it is! Only a selection is on view at any one time, presented in themed exhibitions. Let the excellent (free) audio guide take you through the elegant galleries filled with some of the world's greatest art works.

A rough timeline of the major royal collectors starts with Charles I (who

also commissioned Rubens to paint the Banqueting House ceiling). An avid art enthusiast, Charles established the basis of the Royal Collection, purchasing works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, and Dürer. During the Civil War and in the aftermath of Charles's execution, many masterpieces were sold abroad and subsequently repatriated by Charles II. George III, who bought Buckingham House, scooped up a notable collection of Venetian (including Canaletto), Renaissance (Bellini and Raphael), and Dutch (Vermeer) art, and a large number of baroque drawings, in addition to patronizing English contemporary artists such as Gainsborough and Beechey. He also took a liking to American artist Benjamin West. The Prince Regent, later George IV, had a particularly good eye for Rembrandt, equestrian works by Stubbs, and lavish portraits by Lawrence. Queen Victoria had a penchant for Landseer animals and landscapes, and Frith's contemporary scenes. Later, Edward VII indulged Queen Alexandra's love of Fabergé, and many royal tours around the empire produced gifts of gorgeous caliber, such as the Cullinan diamond from South Africa and an emerald-studded belt from India.

More than 3,000 other objects from the Royal Collection reside in museums and galleries in the United Kingdom and abroad: check out the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of London, and the British Museum. The E-gallery provides an interactive electronic version of the collection, allowing the user to open lockets, remove a sword from its scabbard, or take apart the tulip vases. It's probably the closest you could get to eyeing practically every diamond in the whole glittering diadem.

Read More

Sight Information

Address:

Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Rd., London, SW1A 1AA, England

Map It

Phone:

020-7766–7301

Sight Details:

  • £9.50; joint ticket with Royal Mews £16.75; joint ticket with Mews and Buckingham Palace £34.50
  • Daily 10–5:30; last admission 4:30

Updated 02/27/2014

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in London

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 2, 2008

Not bad, but rather expensive

This is a small museum with a somewhat sizable price tag given its scope. Timed entry is a bit of a pain. Some good things here, but exactly what will be displayed at any one time can be unpredictable (the Vermeer was not out when I went). Not bad, though there are better and cheaper small art museums in London.

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Experience

Ease

Value

Don't Miss

Advertisement