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New Buckingham Palace exhibition goes behind the scenes of state banquets

Time:2018-08-04 06:06wine - Red wine life health Click:

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Entertaining at Buckingham Palace is never going to be a simple affair.

Each and every state banquet (and the Queen has already hosted 1708/1115590.html">110 of them) takes ten days to prepare for and requires 1,700 pieces of mismatched baroque, Rocco and neo-classic cutlery to be placed at each of the 170 table settings precisely 46 cm apart.

Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service (which takes a team of eight three weeks to unpack and repack) and 1,104 glasses - six for each guest to contain water, champagne for the toast, red wine, white wine, champagne or sweet wine and port - must be laid on the pristine 175-foot dining table.

The Buckingham Palace ballroom set for a state banquet, is part of the annual Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace 

The Buckingham Palace ballroom set for a state banquet, is part of the annual Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace 

The Buckingham Palace ballroom set for a state banquet, is part of the annual Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace 

On the night, 76 members of staff, from under butlers to pages, ensure that each plate is laid down at exactly the same time by keeping their eye on a hidden system of traffic lights – blue for ‘stand by’ and amber for ‘serve the food’.

And at the end of the evening the Queen’s priceless gilt-edged porcelain is taken back below stairs to be washed, by hand, using good old Fairy Liquid – although woe-betide anyone (and if they have, then the palace isn’t saying) who chips one of the those.

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Such attention to details is, says Royal Collection Trust curator, Anna Reynolds, one of things that makes any visit to Buckingham Palace ‘magnificent, magical and memorable’.

And from tomorrow (Saturday) members of the public visiting the royal residence while the Queen is on holiday over the summer will experience what it is like to attend an event at the invitation of Her Majesty at a stunning new exhibition entitled ‘A Royal Welcome’.

A member of staff, Martha Lowry Corry, adjusts place settings on a table set for the annual state banquet for the Summer opening

A member of staff, Martha Lowry Corry, adjusts place settings on a table set for the annual state banquet for the Summer opening

A member of staff, Martha Lowry Corry, adjusts place settings on a table set for the annual state banquet for the Summer opening

Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service which takes a team of eight three weeks to unpack and repack

Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service which takes a team of eight three weeks to unpack and repack

Crockery is taken from King George IV’s 4,000 piece Grand Service which takes a team of eight three weeks to unpack and repack

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Last year the Royal Family welcomed around 62,000 guests to the palace on State Visits, receptions, Garden Parties, Investitures and private audiences.

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