The Reservicing of Buckingham Palace has entered a new phase of works in the Picture Gallery, one of the 19 State Rooms in the building’s West Wing.
The works will see the replacement of the Picture Gallery’s almost 200-year-old roof, as well as the removal of ageing pipes, wires and other essential infrastructure – some of which has not been updated since the Second World War.
The Picture Gallery is one of the principal State Rooms at Buckingham Palace and provides the backdrop for State Visits, receptions and official events hosted by The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family.
It is home to some of the best-known paintings in the Royal Collection, with works by Canaletto, Vermeer and Rembrandt on display. The Picture Gallery also forms part of the visitor route for the Summer Opening of the State Rooms in the Palace’s West Wing, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year.
In preparation for this building work, all of the paintings have been removed from the walls of the Picture Gallery for the first time in almost 45 years. Their removal is the culmination of months of planning between the Reservicing Programme Management Office and Royal Collection Trust.
The works are widely acknowledged as highlights of the Royal Collection and 65 are now due to go on public display together nearby at The Queen’s Gallery, in a new exhibition Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace.
The Reservicing Programme continues to afford new and unique opportunities for Royal Collection items from Buckingham Palace to go on public display. Most recently, items acquired by George IV for Brighton Pavilion were been returned on loan to the seaside residence for the exhibition A Prince’s Treasure, having been removed from the East Wing of Buckingham Palace to allow for reservicing work.
The Reservicing of Buckingham Palace is a ten-year programme of works to update the essential services to one of the UK’s most iconic buildings. Miles of ageing cables, lead pipes, electrical wiring and boilers are being replaced as part of the Programme, many for the first time in over 60 years. The Reservicing Programme will also improve visitor facilities and accessibility, as well as create a more energy-efficient environment for staff, guests and visitors to the building.
The Reservicing Programme will ensure that it the Palace is fit for the future as the official London residence of The Sovereign, as a working building welcoming guests and visitors, and as a cherished national asset for generations to come.
Photo Credit: Buckingham Palace