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The little seen room at Buckingham Palace packed with history

It’s a passageway from Palace to glorious gardens and one of the less feted parts of the most famous royal residence in the world. However, the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace has several historic tales to tell.

The Bow Room is not often seen by the public. It is named because of a large window along one side of the room that faces the garden. The Bow Room is often used during State Visits. Decorated with King George III’s dinner and dessert service, Queen Elizabeth II would have lunch in the Bow Room with visiting dignitaries.

The Bow Room, like so many rooms at Buckingham Palace, is decorated with priceless antiques. Lights from Victorian times illuminate the room. Guests can take a seat on 19th century gilt wood armchairs that line the room. Ornamental mirrors are hung over the fireplace.

Portraits in the room include those of Frederick William, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Ernst, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Mary of Cambridge and Marie Alexandrina of Saxe-Altenburg, Queen of Hanover.

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Situated beneath the State Apartments, the Bow Room is part of a group of semi-state apartments, that also include the 1844 Room and 1855 Room. Those two rooms are named after the years Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Emperor Napoleon III of France visited. Visually, the Bow Room matches the look of the more well-known rooms of Buckingham Palace with its white marble columns, white walls and ceiling with gold painted designs and a deep red carpet throughout the room.

In recent years, guests for the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties passed through the Bow Room on their way to the celebration. Three garden parties are held every year to honour and thank people from all walks of life for their positive contributions to British culture and society. 

In 2022, another historic moment took place in the Bow Room. On September 13th, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was brought to the room where it lay at rest before being taken to Westminster Hall the following day for the lying in state. The Bow Room became the last part of the most famous palace in the world where Her Late Majesty rested.

Visitors to Buckingham Palace this summer will walk through the room as their tour concludes.