The Royal Collection Trust has revealed that the galleries formerly known as The Queen’s Galleries will reopen as The King’s Galleries with exciting new exhibitions.

A portrait of Princess Margaret by Cecil Beaton taken in 1949

Source: Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2024

A portrait of Princess Margaret by Cecil Beaton taken in 1949 will be on display in London.

The two Galleries at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse show changing exhibitions of works of art from the Royal Collection, with the aim of increasing public access to one of the largest and most important art collections in the world. Since 2002, when the buildings were opened in their current form, they have welcomed almost five million visitors.

At The King’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the summer exhibition Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography (17th May - 6th October 2024) will chart the evolution of royal portrait photography from the 1920s to the present day, revealing the stories behind some of the most celebrated photographs ever taken of the Royal Family.

Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians, The Queen's Gallery

Source: Furthest left and top right: Fashion Museum Bath; others: Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2024

From left clockwise: example of a Court suit; Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of Queen Charlotte; a British Court dress; a German snuffbox; the book of psalms owned by Queen Charlotte.

From November, Drawing the Italian Renaissance (1st November 2024 - 9th March 2025) will explore the diversity and accomplishment of drawing across Italy during this revolutionary period, through works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.

Following a successful run in London, Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians (22nd March - 22nd September 2024) will be the first exhibition to open at The King’s Gallery in Edinburgh following its 18-month closure for essential maintenance work.

Group benefits at the King’s Galleries

Groups of 15 or more people visiting either of the King’s Galleries can benefit from discounted admission. A complimentary multimedia guide to the exhibition is also available to all visitors to help explain what’s on display in greater detail. 

Exploring life in Georgian Britain through the fashions of the day, it will be the 40th exhibition to be held in the Gallery since it was opened as a space to share a wider variety of works from the Royal Collection in Scotland.

Exhibition highlights

In Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography, the display includes some of Cecil Beaton’s most memorable photographs, taken over six decades such as the Coronation portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, plus Lord Snowdon’s shots of Princess Margaret both before and during their marriage.

The works on display throughout the Drawing the Italian Renaissance exhibition will differ vastly in subject, ranging from sacred compositions such as Michelangelo’s Virgin and Child with the Young St John and Raphael’s first design for his Disputa fresco, to secular decoration and designs for metalwork, including a table fountain by Leonardo da Vinci. 

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Source: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023 / Peter Smith

The King’s Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will host its 40th exhibition this year. 

In Scotland, the popular Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians display introduces guests to almost 100 works from the Royal Collection, including paintings, prints and drawings by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth and their contemporaries. At the heart of the exhibition will be a selection of surviving period clothing and accessories, alongside paintings showing comparable items. 

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