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US State Visit: Hidden treasures of the Buckingham Palace ballroom where Trump dined with the Queen

Six large crystal chandeliers formed from faceted drops, each surmounted by a cut-glass crown. Chains of drops spread from the central formation to a gilt-bronze frame mounted with glass Garter stars. The exact provenance of the chandeliers is not known but it is likely they were made in England.

A Woven and Silk Wool Gobelin tapestry depicting part of the Story of Jason, from Greek mythology. The series has six parts in total, with the full set on show at Windsor Castle. 

The Buckingham Palace ballroom tapestry is a duplicate of the second scene: showing the soldiers sprung from the dragon’s teeth turning their weapons against each other. There is a second duplicate on display elsewhere in the palace. 

The tapestry was woven c.1776-1779 in the workshop of Pierre-François Cozette and Audran after designs painted between 1744-6 by Jean-François de Troy.  

An impressive display of silver gilt dishes is erected especially for State Banquets. Among them is a large sideboard dish with a relief of the Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne. The dish, believed to date to 1813/14, was billed to George IV, then Prince Regent, in 1815. Accounts show it cost £616 5s 7d. 

These candelabra were manufactured in Paris, under the supervision of Ludwig Grüner, Prince Albert’s artistic adviser. Each candelabra contains 31 candles and were made to light Pennethorne’s new Ballroom at Buckingham Palace. Accounts show they were made for Queen Victoria for the Ballroom in Buckingham Palace in 1856. 

Dressed in their distinctive Tudor uniforms of red, white and yellow, The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard has a ceremonial role in many Royal events. There are 73 Yeomen of the Guard, all of whom are former warrant or non-commissioned officers of the British Services.

Eight seven-light wall lights of gilt wood with a thick vertical garland either side, and guilloche-pattern square branches. Made by White, Allom and Co. in 1908, during the reign of Edward VII.

Towering over the ballroom is a triumphal arch that frames the thrones and the throne canopy. Atop the arch sit plaster statues by William Theed. In the centre are two winged figures that symbolise History and Fame and support a medallion with the profiles of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The centrepiece is flanked by sphinxes.

  

The throne canopy, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was created in 1916 using the heavily gold-embroidered velvet hangings salvaged from the imperial canopy or shamiana made for King George V and Queen Mary’s appearance at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. The hangings were considerably reworked in 1967 by the London firm of Heal & Sons.

On display behind the Queen’s seat at the banquet are two velvet thrones made for the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.

Silver-gilt candelabra, many from the reign of King George IV, are placed along the length of the tables for the State Banquet. Ahead of the meal, members of the Royal Household are tasked with lighting every candle – more than 100 in total – before placing covers on each to shield the flame.  

A pair of Chinese porcelain jardinières with European gilt-bronze mounts. Almost certainly acquired by George IV. They are thought to have been moved to Buckingham Palace in March 1847 and noted there in the Bow Room in 1917.

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