City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Review: Treasures from the Queen's Palaces


By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 23 May 2012

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Eos by Landseer
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 To commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a special exhibition, "Treasures from The Queen's Palaces" is at the Queen's Gallery, Edinburgh until 4th November 2012.

This is a fascinating selection of paintings, portraits, jewels, books, bronze sculptures and furniture carefully sourced from nine Royal Residences. 

These personal treasures represent a broad snapshot of the exquisite, priceless collection of artwork which has been presented to, or acquired by the Royal Family over five hundred years from Rembrandt to Lucien Freud.  Highlights include a vibrant scene of Marks Square, Venice by Canaletto, (purchased by George III),   drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, and a charming painting of Eos the Greyhound, by Sir Edwin Landseer. This was a Christmas gift in 1841 from Queen Victoria to her beloved Prince Albert..   

A silver gilt Faberge notebook, also on display, is the journal in which Queen Victoria recorded the events of her own diamond jubilee, with signatures of the guests at a celebratory dinner in June 1897.

The Queen described the evening in this book: "The dinner was in the Supper Room. All the family, foreign royalties, special ambassadors & envoys were invited. I sat between the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand & the Prince of Naples."

Curator Deborah Clarke went to the royal residencies to select the artwork herself: “I wanted to go for big names and top quality, as well as some more slightly interesting things.”

 A treasure trove of “interesting things” indeed are on show – many which have never been seen in Scotland and come from private rooms within our Royal palaces not open to the public.

This is in fact the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Queen’s Gallery, a beautifully designed circular space of adjoining rooms with a grand polished wood staircase leading up to the mezzanine level. 

Visitors can purchase a combined Palace and Gallery ticket which offers the perfect overview and exploration of our Royal Family across the centuries, through architecture, history, design and fine art.

See Queen's Gallery