An elegant scene for Georgian entertainments
Updated 25 March. In line with Public Health England guidance, we have taken the decision to close all six of our palaces and gardens until 31st May. We will be reviewing this and will keep you updated. Please read our statement for further information. Read our statement
The State Dining Room has been in constant use since the house was built. The doors to the kitchens and ancillary areas are shielded by leather screens so that servants could enter and leave discreetly.
During state dinners, the host is expected to sit at the centre of the dining table with their back to the fireplace. Her Majesty The Queen continued this tradition during her first visit as Queen during her Coronation Tour in 1953. Directly in her sightline would have been the Granville Garden, which was created by her aunt Rose, the Countess of Granville.
Her Majesty The Queen was guest of honour at a dinner to celebrate her coronation, here in the State Dining Room in 1953.
A copy of the tiara that Her Majesty wore on the occasion, the Queen Mary’s Girls of Britain and Ireland tiara, is on display in the State Dining Room.
George III and Queen Charlotte met in the afternoon of 8 September 1761 and were married that evening. George was the first Hanoverian King to be born and raised in England. Despite being one of the longest reigning monarchs in British history, he is often remembered for his frequent bouts of mental illness.
The portraits of the King and Queen in the State Dining Room are part of a series of copies by Scottish artist Allan Ramsay and his studio.
The painting on the far side of the State Dining Room depicts the impressive figure of Lord Arthur Hill, second son of the second Marquess of Downshire.
Lord Arthur fought in the Peninsula War before becoming a captain and 'Aide de Camp' to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, to whom he was related.
In June 1815, Lord Arthur travelled to Dover on horseback and commandeered a boat for £22 to row across the Channel and join the imminent conflict at Waterloo. Wellington famously said that 'if there hadn’t been a boat, Arthur would no doubt have swum'.
The 4th Marquess of Downshire served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal South Down Militia. He is depicted in the State Dining Room as the Earl of Hillsborough.
When he married Caroline Stapleton Cotton in 1837, he threw a famously extravagant wedding party at the Fort attended by 3,000 tenants. It is rumoured that 13 guests died from overindulgence!
In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.
Choose from our stunning collection of jewellery, including pieces inspired by the palaces and the people who lived in them. These beautiful collections include necklaces, rings, earrings, charm bracelets, bangles and pendants.
Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with designs including elements from all our royal palaces.