The Queen's Palaces

7:30pm Thursday, June 7 on Prime

Documentary Series

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse – these buildings have been part of British royal history for hundreds of years. The Queen’s Palaces showcases the art and architecture, the interior decoration and the treasures stored inside these fabulous buildings, and reveals the surprising and fascinating stories behind them. As well as the story of the building’s creation, Fiona Bruce (Antiques Roadshow) walks around the rooms and corridors to capture the stories and histories of works of art and fine objects, so that each episode marries the chronology of history and the pure delight of a walk around a beautiful interior.

Alongside the paintings by Holbein and the Canaletto that hang on the palace walls, Fiona discovers the story behind a cat needlework panel at Holyroodhouse and finds the musket ball that killed Nelson on display in Windsor Castle. Combining Fiona’s role as interested amateur with contributions from Royal Collection curators and experts, each episode offers a mix of high level insight and interesting and curious stories. Tonight the focus is on Buckingham Palace. It may be just about the most famous building in the world, but its story is much less familiar. Fiona Bruce reveals how England’s most spectacular palace emerged from a swampy backwater in just 300 years. The journey of discovery takes her from the sewers of London to the magnificent State Rooms; from a home for camels and elephants to the artistic brilliance of C18th-century Venice; and from a prince’s Chinese fantasy to the secret of how the Palace’s glittering chandeliers are cleaned today.

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