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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Jean Tijou's Screen at Hampton Court: The Adventurous Life of a Masterpiece

15 April 2024

The glorious 300-year-old Tijou Screen marks the southern boundary of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace, next to the River Thames. It was designed for William III and Mary II in 1689 by Jean Tijou – one of the greatest ironworkers who ever lived.

Queen Caroline’s State bed is Back!... on Display

09 April 2024

We are now able to return our focus to the permanent collection on open display across our palaces, including the conservation of the much-loved Queen Caroline State bed, which we care for on behalf of the Royal Collection Trust.

Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection in the Jewel House

26 June 2023

Curator Charles Farris introduces some of the amazing ceremonial dress now on display in the Jewel House exhibition.

Royal Style in the Making: Meet the toile designers

09 November 2021

Textile Treatment Supervisor Libby Thompson introduces a collection of toiles inspired by royal designers, which opened the Royal Style in the Making exhibition.

Caring for the Tower of London through lockdown

11 May 2021

While the Tower of London was closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, much work was underway to protect the fabric of the building and the future of the palace. Assistant Curator Alfred Hawkins reveals one of the important projects that he has been working on behind the scenes.

Conservation of an 18th century headboard: Secrets of a State Bed

13 March 2020

As part of our Secrets of a State Bed series, Conservator Viola Nicastro explains the process of conserving the headboard of Queen Caroline's State Bed, and reveals more of its secrets.

Conservation and discoveries in our paper collections

06 February 2020

We have around 25,000 works of art on paper in Historic Royal Palaces' collection. While many are on display, the vast majority are held in storage. These are delicate items and it's essential to conserve and store them correctly in order to preserve them for posterity.

Six mattresses for a Queen: Secrets of a State Bed

30 January 2020

As conservation work continues on Queen Caroline's State bed, Conservator Beatrice Farmer shares discoveries on the lavish silk-covered mattresses, including one that appears to be an impostor. The bed is part of the Royal Collection, and can usually be found on display at Hampton Court Palace. 

A discovery on the lining: Secrets of A State Bed

08 January 2020

Queen Caroline's state bed has three upper inner valances. These decorative drapes are attached to the inside the wooden bed frame, to hide the bed frame and give a decorative border to the tester or canopy. They are made from silk damask decorated with silk braid and lined with plain silk. Linings are not usually the most exciting or important part of a textile, but these ones turned out to be far more interesting than we thought.