There are 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace. 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, and 19 staterooms.
Of all of them, one is perhaps the most important: the 1844 room. It’s where Queen Elizabeth and the royal family often receive their most distinguished visitors, from the Obamas to Angelina Jolie.
This room can be set for an audience, for a privy council meeting, or even a meal. Just this week, Her Majesty held a lunch for a varied group including the Duke of York, architect Sir David Adjaye, and Felicity Aston, the first woman to cross Antarctica solo.
It’s also well-known to the general public.
Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas speech is sometimes filmed there. It’s called “The 1844 Room”. That’s because of the year 1844. That’s when space received Russian Tsar Nicholas I. A guest so grand that his portrait once hung on its walls.
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According to Rizzoli’s ‘Buckingham Palace: The Interiors’, it has 19th-century blue and gold silk upholstered furniture by Morel & Seddon. It also includes a portrait of King George IV and Frederick, Duke of York as children. Not only this, but also has a neoclassical desk by famous cabinet maker, David Roentgen from 1820.
The walls are adorned with a blush-hued wallpaper and malachite candelabras. In the year 2009, The Telegraph described an average day in the 1844 Room.
It was described as:-
“When Her Majesty is ready to receive a guest, she presses a buzzer. Then, the staff ushers in her next appointment. And on that particular June 23, was Lithuanian Ambassador Oskaras Jusys. Mr Jusys comes through the door”.
“After about 10 minutes being alone with the Queen, he is joined by his five staff. They bow or curtsy as they are introduced. Twenty minutes later, Homayoun Tandar, the Afghanistan Ambassador, and his staff go through the same ritual. He is then followed by Penelope Wensley, the Governor of Queensland”.
Although its name evokes the past, the ‘1844 Room’ remains relevant as ever, even in the 21st century.