Exhibitions and Displays 2003

Release date: 
Friday, 20 December 2002

Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration

An Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
Extended until 2 March 2003
Highlights from Royal Treasures will remain on show until 1 February 2004.  The drawings and watercolours from the exhibition will be on display until 27 April 2003.

The selection of over 400 outstanding works for the inaugural exhibition at The Queen's Gallery has been made across the entire breadth of the Royal Collection, from nine royal residences and over five centuries of collecting.  It includes paintings, drawings and watercolours, furniture, clocks, sculpture and ceramics, silver and gold, arms and armour, jewellery and miniatures, books and manuscripts.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque      

An Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
30 November 2002 - 30 March 2003
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
9 May - 9 November 2003

This ground-breaking exhibition is the first to examine Leonardo da Vinci's life-long obsession with the human form.  Through his drawings and notes, Leonardo attempted to define perfect or 'divine' proportion.   At the same time, he delighted in distorting the human face to explore the comic potential of the 'grotesque'.  These were among his most influential works  and  were  largely  responsible  for  the  supreme  Renaissance  master's reputation as a bizarre genius.  The exhibition looks at Leonardo's work in the context of contemporary ideas of beauty, notions of perfection and popular imagery.  The selection includes studies for his masterpiece, The Last Supper, portraits of Leonardo and his circle, and rare examples of his designs for festival costumes.

An Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
11 April - 12 October 2003
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
21 November 2003 - 7 March 2004

The Royal collection of works by Carl Fabergé, the greatest Russian jeweller and goldsmith of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is unparalleled in size, range and quality.  Much of it was acquired through the exchange of personal gifts between the Russian, Danish and British royal families. Tsar Alexander III of Russia appointed Fabergé Supplier to the Imperial Court in 1885, and King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra's enthusiasm for Fabergé's work encouraged the jeweller to open a London branch in 1903.  This dazzling exhibition, which incorporates the results of new research in Russian archives, charts the royal passion for Fabergé through over 300 of his finest pieces.

King of the World: The Padshahnama, an Imperial Mughal Manuscript
An Exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh
24 October 2003 - 3 May 2004

The jewel-like manuscript known as the Padshahnama, or Chronicle of the King of the World, ranks as one of the finest examples of Mughal art.  Given to George III by the Nawab of Oudh (Lucknow, India) in 1797, it forms an official record of the first ten years of the reign of Shah-Jahan (r.1628-58), fifth Mughal emperor of India and builder of the Taj Mahal.  The Padshahnama's 44 illustrations and two illuminations were executed by the finest Mughal painters.  Sumptuous ceremonies, weddings, scenes of dancing and music, hunts and battles, offer a glimpse of a world of extraordinary splendour, magnificence and power. 

Ceremony and Celebration: Coronation Day 1953
An Exhibition at The Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
1 August - 28 September 2003

The 50th  anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II is celebrated with the display of Her Majesty's magnificent Coronation Dress and Robe of State and the first public showing of the 30-metre Coronation frieze by Feliks Topolski, commissioned by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1960.  Described as the 'greatest artistic chronicler of our times', Topolski witnessed the Coronation itself as an official artist.  He divided his ebullient pictorial narrative into two parts - the procession to Westminster Abbey and The Queen's procession out of the Abbey after the service.  The Coronation Dress, made by the royal couturier Norman Hartnell, incorporates the floral emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in its design.  It is encrusted with seed pearls, diamonds, pale amethysts, golden crystals and sequins.  The Robe of State is of English purple silk-velvet and measures over 6½ metres in length.  Its exquisite embroidery by the Royal School of Needlework took 3,500 hours to complete.

The Order of Merit
A Display in The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle
9 November 2002 - 23 March 2003

To mark the Order's centenary, 29 portrait drawings of Order of Merit members and associated historic material from the Royal Collection and Archives are on display at Windsor Castle.  Among the more recent additions to the portrait series are Sir Tom Stoppard, Lord Foster (the architect, Norman Foster), Dame Joan Sutherland and Lord Menuhin.  The artists represented include Bryan Organ, Emma Sergeant, Carel Weight, John Wonnacott and Lucian Freud.  The display includes a letter from Florence Nightingale to Queen Victoria and original manuscripts by Thomas Hardy and Sir Edward Elgar.  On a very different scale is a group of miniature volumes produced and given to the library of Queen Mary's Dolls' House by members of the Order - J.M. Barrie, Walter de la Mare, John Galsworthy and M.R. James.

Elizabeth I
A Display in The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle
7 February - 23 March 2003

To mark the 400th  anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth I, some of the most personal artefacts from her reign will be shown at Windsor Castle.  In this small display, her edition of works by the poet Petrarch bears her elaborate signature, and inside a small French psalter is a poem written in her hand.  A jewel-like portrait miniature by her court artist Nicholas Hilliard, an exquisite full-length drawing by Isaac Oliver, and one of the earliest printed images of Elizabeth I from 1559 are included in the display.

A Display in The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle
29 March 2003 - 21 September 2003

The ancient ceremony of Coronation is explored through drawings, prints, photographs and historic material from the Royal Library and Archives at Windsor Castle.  Monarchs' personal records of their own coronations include Queen Victoria's sketchbook filled with her drawings of the day's events.   Among the other treasures are William III and Mary II's Order of Service from 1689, the Coronation Bible upon which George III took his coronation oath, a charming painted invitation to Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation addressed to the young Prince Charles,  and  Her  Majesty  The  Queen's  Order  of  Service  together  with  the  pen  she used to sign it.

Admission details for The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace 
10:00-17:30  every day (last admission 16:30)  Entry by timed ticket 
Closed 18 April, 25 and 26 December.  Parts of the Gallery will be closed on 3-9 March,
28 April-8 May, 10-20 November inclusive while displays are changed.

Admission prices
Adult  £6.50, Over 60/Student  £5.00, Under 17  £3.00, Family (2 adults & 3 under 17s)  £16.00, Under 5 Free.  Reduced admission prices will apply during partial opening.

Admission details for The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse
1 November to 31 March   09:30-16:30 every day (last admission 15:45) Entry by timed ticket
1 April to 31 October   09:30-18:00  every day (last admission 17:15) Entry by timed ticket
Closed 25 and 26 December 2002, 31 March-10 April, 18 April, 13-23 October 2003.

Admission prices
Adult £4.00,  Over 60/Student  £3.00,  Under 17  £2.00,  Family (2 adults and 3 under 17s)  £10.00,  Under 5  Free.

Admission details for Windsor Castle
November to February  09:45-16:15 every day (last admission 15:00)
March to October  09:45-17:15  every day (last admission 16:00)

Admission prices
Adult £11.50,  Over 60/Student  £9.50,  Under 17  £6.00,  Family (2 adults and 3 under 17s)  £29.00,  Under 5  Free.

As the Castle is a working royal palace, opening arrangements maybe subject to change at short notice.  Please check before planning a visit, by telephoning 020 7321 2233.

Buying a ticket
Advance tickets: On-line at www.royal.gov.uk or telephone 020 7321 2233 for Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and 0131 556 5100 for the Palace of Holyroodhouse (a booking fee applies).  On-the-day tickets: From each site, subject to availability.
Press information and photographs are available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020-7839 1377,

e-mail:press@royalcollection.org.uk., website: www.royal.gov.uk.  Images are also available from the Royal Collection's folder in the Arts section on PA's  Picselect at www.papicselect.com or through the PA bulletin board.