A glimpse inside Balmoral: The Queen welcomed Liz Truss to a drawing room filled with nods to her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria – including her portrait and candelabras – and green sofas that she’s had for more than 40 years
- Queen, 96, welcomed new Prime Minister Liz Truss to the Drawing Room in Balmoral in Scotland earlier today
- Monarch, who was pictured using a cane, was beaming as she met with the politician at her Scottish home
- Photograph taken inside the spacious drawing room reveals how the Queen prefers to keep traditional decor
- The candlestick holders and fireplace are believed to have been chosen by Queen Victoria in the 1800s
From the family heirlooms to the priceless artwork, Balmoral Castle is steeped in royal history.
And a photograph taken inside the Drawing Room today revealed how the Queen, 96, has maintained many of the property’s traditional pieces, including a set of white figurine candlestick holders, which are believed to have been installed by the Queen’s great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria more than 150 years ago.
The image was snapped during a historic meeting between the monarch and incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was yesterday announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party.
The historic audience was the first time that the 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, has carried out the key duty at her retreat in Aberdeenshire, rather than at Buckingham Palace. Today is also the first time Her Majesty has been pictured since she was seen arriving at the estate on July 21 for her summer holiday.
The Queen has been suffering from episodic mobility problems since last autumn, and the decision was taken last week to ask the outgoing and incoming prime ministers to make the 1,000-mile round-trip to see the Queen.
A photograph taken inside the Drawing Room at Balm, today revealed how the Queen, 96, has maintained many of the property’s traditional pieces, including a set of white figurine candlestick holders, which are believed to have been installed by the Queen’s great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria more than 150 years ago
A statement from Buckingham Palace issued at 1pm today said: ‘The Queen received in Audience The Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss MP today and requested her to form a new Administration. Ms Truss accepted Her Majesty’s offer and kissed hands upon her appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury.’
The meeting took place in Balmoral’s green-carpeted Drawing Room, which has matching green sofas, a leaf-patterned fabric chair, an open fire and a number of equine-themed antique paintings on the walls.
Interior designer Benji Lewis noted: ‘Everything about the interior here suggests welcome reliability.
‘The antique furniture, the lit fire, the matched sofas, the balanced accessories on the mantel and sumptuous flower arrangements either side of the chimney.
‘In spite of how homely the room appears, notable by their absence are personal effects – I’d hazard a guess that these likely exist – framed family photos in traditional silver frames on the two side tables but for the purposes of suggesting the room is being used for formal purposes these have been tidied away for the time being’.
Here, a closer look at the Queen’s cosy Drawing Room….
1. Floral printed chairs
The meeting took place in Balmoral’s green-carpeted Drawing Room, which has matching green sofas (main), a leaf-patterned fabric chair (left) and a modern bell (centre, on the table)
The photograph, which is one of several taken of the room over the past few decades, shows that the frugal Queen has not changed the furniture in years.
A photograph of the monarch sitting in the room in 1976 shows the royal reclining on the same floral-printed chairs, which are covered in a white patterned fabric.
Meanwhile the cosy and comfortable footrest to the right of the image also appears to have been covered in the same fabric.
Benji noted: ‘I love the inclusion of some floral detail, toned to work with the green upholstery and yet on an ivory background with pink motifs, it’s classic English country house décor at its most reassuring.’
2. Modern bell
While much of the room is traditionally decorated, and appears to have barely changed since it was photographed in 1976, there is one very modern addition to the home.
A small doorbell can be seen perched on the edge of one of the Queen’s sidetables in the living space.
It appears to have just one button, and could be type of modern ‘servant bell’ for which she could call a member of staff into the room.
3. Old green sofas
Meanwhile the comfortable green sofas also appear not to have been replaced in years – the royal was photographed sitting on the same mint coloured seats in 1976.
The two-seater sofas are all covered in the same green fabric and finished with a traditional skirting.
Interior designer Benji said: ‘There’s clearly however been given sensible thought to practical issues, the sofas being finished with loose washable covers – perfect if a corgi with muddy paws settles in.’
4. Bouquet of autumn flowers
Among the more colourful additions to the room were two huge bouquets of flowers.
With petals in autumn oranges, soft pinks and tons of greenery, the matching bouquets were placed on either side of the fireplace.
Meanwhile the sprays of flowers were placed in two matching vases, which appeared to be decorated with a thistle design.
5. Painting of Death of a royal stag
Over to the left hand side of the fireplace is a painting which shows a hunting scene. The painting is known as Death of the Royal Stag with the Queen riding up to congratulate His Royal Highness’, by Sir Edwin Landseer (Landseer, 1860)
Over to the left hand side of the fireplace is a painting which shows a hunting scene.
The painting is known as Death of the Royal Stag with the Queen riding up to congratulate His Royal Highness’, by Sir Edwin Landseer in 1860.
It depicts a scene on the estate, showing Queen Victoria riding up to a pair of men who had killed a stag. She can be seen arriving at the scene of the kill on a horse, being lead by her favourite servant John Brown.
Prince Albert can be seen standing in the foreground with a gun resting on his shoulder, while a dead red deer stag is next to him.
The man holding the antlers of the stag is John Grant, keeper at Balmoral.
The Queen and other members of the royal family have long enjoyed hunting and shooting on the Scottish estate.
Alongside deer stalking, members of The Firm are reported to have caught fish in the pretty River Dee, which runs through the estate.
Meanwhile Benji noted how the paintings had been protected by glass panels.
He said: ‘Putting the paintings behind glass is a sensible thing to do, minimising the risk of damage to the canvases, and the oversized mantel mirror brings wonderful reflected borrowed light into the space.’
The distinctive holders show figures standing in different positions. A pair of them have been placed on either side of the large ornate mirror that hangs above the fireplace
The distinctive holders show figures standing in different positions. A pair of them have been placed on either side of the large ornate mirror that hangs above the fireplace.
The candelabras are formed of porcelain and metal, and show Parian ware firgures of Highlanders holding elaborate deer-stalking trophies.
A watercolour painting, which was commissioned by Queen Victoria and can be viewed as part of the Royal Collection Trust’s online archives, features a set of white figurine candlestick holders that appears strikingly similar to the one that remains in the room today.
7. Ornate gold mirror
In the centre of the room, hanging above the fireplace, is a huge ornate glass mirror, which appears to have been hanging in the room for decades.
It can be seen in the same watercolour painting from Queen Victoria’s era.
8. Thistle-adorned fireplace
In the photographs released today, the Queen could be seen standing close to a roaring log fire within the ornate fireplace
In the photographs released today, the Queen could be seen standing close to a roaring log fire within the ornate fireplace.
The trim inside the hearth features thistles – the national flower of Scotland – and is seen in a watercolour of the room comissioned by Queen Victoria in 1957, five years after she bought the Aberdeenshire property with her husband, Prince Albert.
9. Roaring fire (replacing an old electric one)
While the Queen has placed convection electric heaters in the hearths of other fireplaces in Balmoral, this one remains a log fire. It was lit today ahead of Her Majesty’s visitors’ arrival.
A wooden fireguard can be seen to the right of the fireplace within the Drawing Room. It’s likely it is put in place to protect younger members of the royal family, as well as the Queen’s dogs, from getting too close to the roaring fire in the hearth
A wooden fireguard can be seen to the right of the fireplace within the Drawing Room. It’s likely it is put in place to protect younger members of the royal family, as well as the Queen’s dogs, from getting too close to the roaring fire in the hearth.
The monarch has regularly used the Drawing Room as a space to enjoy family time, and in which to have photographs with younger generations taken.
After her husband Prince Philip died last year, several images were released of the royal couple posing with their great grandchildren in the room.
In one photograph, the Queen and the Duke say alongside seven of their great-grandchildren, with the ‘relaxed’ monarch holding a then-baby Prince Louis in her arms.
And in another, the couple were seen being introduced to a baby Princess Charlotte, who was held in the arms of Kate Middleton.
Last summer, an insider revealed the annual trip over the last week of August had become a tradition for the family, with the monarch reserving the Bank Holiday weekend for time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
11. Cosy white rug
While much of the room appears to have been carpeted with a modern sage green carpet, the area in front of the fire has been kept particularly cosy with a soft white rug.
It is a newer addition to the space than many of the other items in the room, and appears to have been added within the last two decades.
12. Queen Victoria painting
To the right of the fireplace, a painting of Queen Victoria at Osborne House can be seen. The moody image shows the monarch on horseback in front of Osborne House, the former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight
To the right of the fireplace, a painting of Queen Victoria at Osborne House can be seen.
The moody image shows the monarch on horseback in front of Osborne House, the former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Holding her horse is her trusted ghillie, John Brown, and on the bench in the background sit her daughters Princess Louise and Princess Helena.
It is believed to be a copy of an 1867 painting of the queen by Sir Edwin Landseer.
Behind one of the sofas in the Drawing Room, is a dark wooden table, which appears to have been covered in several newspapers (pictured). A pile of photo albums appeared to have been stored on the same table
Behind one of the sofas in the Drawing Room, is a dark wooden table, which appears to have been covered with carefully laid out newspapers.
While it is not immediately apparent which publications have been set out on the table, it appears likely the newspapers have been placed there for the Queen’s interest that day.
14. Pile of photo albums
Meanwhile beneath the table, there is a pile of photo albums being stored.
It’s possible they contain different photographs of the royal family at Balmoral, where they have holidayed for years.
15. Same green carpet from decades ago
The carpet also remains in the same – a solid green colour. Unlike other rooms in the castle, which boast Royal Tartan carpets, this room has been modernised with a cleaner, plainer look.
Meanwhile Benji noted how the green carpet tied in with the sage coloured curtains. He explained: ‘The upholstered goods provide a lovely sense of calm and harmony.
‘The plain light green is unthreatening and cleverly balanced by the smart but simple window dressings.
‘There is not a swag and tail in sight – just a plain box pelmet with curtains hanging straight down in an uncomplicated fashion to provide cosiness on a winter’s night.’
16. Ornate gold clock
In the centre of the mantelpiece is an ornate gold clock. While this does not appear in the 1857 watercolour, it has been in situ for at least 40 years at it is seen in a photo of the Queen and Prince Philip taken in the room in 1976.
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