What to see
The Royal Pavilion started as a modest 18th century farmhouse. Architect Henry Holland helped George, Prince of Wales, transform his humble seaside retreat into a handsome neo-classical villa – known as the Marine Pavilion.
In the early 19th century, after George IV had succeeded his father as king and hired the eminent architect John Nash, the exotic splendour of the Royal Pavilion as we see it today was finally unveiled.
George was a cultured and well-educated man, enthusiastic about the visual arts, music and architecture. He loved chinoiserie – the decorative style inspired by China.
George enjoyed entertaining and surrounded himself with courtiers and fashionable society guests. At the Royal Pavilion he hosted gastronomic feasts in the Banqueting Room, and balls and concerts in the Music Room.
It is these flamboyant, artistic tastes, combined with George IV’s desire to impress, that are evident throughout the Royal Pavilion. The palace became in itself a complete work of art, furnished with exquisite French, English and Chinese export furniture and objects, and adorned with gilded dragons, carved palm trees and imitation bamboo staircases.
One of George IV’s greatest passions was music. Here in the Music Room the king’s own band entertained guests with Handel or Italian opera. The Italian composer Rossini performed here in 1823.
The elaborate Banqueting Room is highly theatrical in style, a perfect backdrop to the magnificent feasts that George IV would have offered his courtiers and guests. Lengthy banquets often included up to 70 different dishes.
Information about the royal bedrooms in the Royal Pavilion.
The Great Kitchen was one of the first areas to be completed in 1816 as part of John Nash’s reconstruction of the Royal Pavilion. The kitchen was designed to be innovative and modern for its day.
Find out more about the royal reception rooms including the Long Gallery, Banqueting Room Gallery, Saloon and Music Room Gallery.
A gallery in the Royal Pavilion telling the story of its use as an Indian military hospital during World War One.
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