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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

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.

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.

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.

The colourful history of the cornices and corbels: Secrets of a State Bed

06 November 2019

As conservation work continues on Queen Caroline's State bed, Conservator Beatrice Farmer describes the small details and considerations involved in conserving the textile elements of the bed such as the cornices and corbels - from how to remove old patches to finding the best materials and colours to match the original item.

Up close with the finials: Secrets of a State Bed

13 September 2019

Out of the 41 textile components of the state bed, the first to be conserved were the finials. Rosie Chamberlin and Charlotte Gamper, two of our textile conservation team, worked together to conserve the four urn-shaped ornamental features that sit at the corners of the bed tester.

Queen Caroline's bed undergoes conservation: Secrets of a state bed

15 August 2019

As supervisor of the furnishing conservation team at Historic Royal Palaces, I lead a team of four conservators over five years to conserve one of our tallest beds, Queen Caroline's state bed. The bed is part of the Royal Collection, and can usually be found on display at Hampton Court Palace.