Before being purchased by the Town Commissioners in 1850, the Royal Pavilion acted as the “pleasure palace” for King George IV, William IV, and was also visited by Queen Victoria. It would prove difficult to find a venue in Britain more unique than the Royal Pavilion. Completed in 1823, the palace was inspired by Indian architecture and features striking domes, towers, and other exotic details. Today, not only is the beautiful structure a museum, it also hosts the enchanting Candlelight series.
Located in the heart of Brighton and Hove’s Cultural Quarter, the Royal Pavilion is only a 5-minute walk from the sea. What’s more, with local buses stopping on Old Steine outside the museum, Brighton Railway Station being a 15-minute walk away, and easy access by bicycle, finding your way to this grand venue is no hassle.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about the Royal Pavilion
1. A palace fit for a king
Engaged in a life of womanising and gambling, King George IV’s decadent lifestyle is mirrored in every aspect of the Royal Pavilion. From the Red Drawing Room, the room to which female guests would retire after a feast in the Banqueting Room, with its dragon wallpaper and palm tree pillars to the Music Room’s gilded ceiling and lotus-shaped chandeliers, this magnificent palace was and is nothing short of regal.
2. First World War involvement
During the first few months of WWI, the Royal Pavilion went from lavish residence to military hospital. It was reported that the hospital catered to the cultural and religious needs of Indian troops to encourage loyalty to the British Empire. The Royal Pavilion was later converted into a hospital for treating British soldiers who had lost limbs through amputation. It remained a hospital until 1920.
3. Not up to Queen Victoria’s standards
After King George IV’s death in 1837, he was succeeded by his niece, Queen Victoria. She came to the Royal Pavilion for the first time in the same year, but it wasn’t up to scratch for her for a few reasons. Firstly, she disagreed with her uncle’s indulgent lifestyle and opted instead for financial stringency while she stayed in Brighton. Secondly, the palace eventually proved to be too small for her and her family, and lacked the level of privacy she desired. The palace sold for £50,000 in 1850.
Candlelight concerts at the Royal Pavilion
In a setting where every detail and fixture screams luxury and beauty, where better to bring Candlelight’s signature sea of candles and talented musicians? Find your seat at this breathtaking venue and relax bathed in the glow of hundreds of flickering candles. From renditions of Vivaldi’s concertos to Queen’s legendary hits, unwind as the soothing melodies wash over you at the Royal Pavilion.
What else can you do at the Royal Pavilion?
Aside from having your dream wedding at this idyllic location, you can also visit the museum. Tickets cost between £11.00 and £18 depending on age. Stroll through the gardens designed by John Nash, admire the central chandelier and carved dragon mounts in the Banqueting Room, and discover The Saloon—one of the oldest surviving parts of the palace. The Indian Hospital Gallery and Royal Pavilion gift shop are also worth visiting.
You can keep an eye on Brighton and Hove Museums’ website for upcoming events, such as basement and tunnel tours, walkthrough displays, and more.
If you feel like experiencing the Royal Pavilion without having to trapse around too much, attending an intimate Candlelight concert makes for a memorable evening. You can absorb all of the history and stunning architecture while sitting in a welcoming environment and listening to an awe-inpsiring live music performance.