The Royal Gallery

The Royal Gallery is used for important occasions including state receptions, dinners and parliamentary ceremonies, often with Members of both Houses present.

Monarchs

Several portraits of monarchs and their consorts line the wall of the Gallery.

Beside the doorways and the bay window are four pairs of gilded stone statues of monarchs such as Richard I and Edward III.

The stained-glass windows which were damaged by bombs during the Second World War have since been repaired, and show the arms of the Kings of England and Scotland.

Wars

The walls of the Gallery are decorated by two enormous paintings by Daniel Maclise depicting significant moments from the Napoleonic Wars; the death of Horatio Nelson and the meeting of the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshall Blücher prior to the final defeat of Napoleon.

A glass stand in the room commemorates the names of the 408 members of the House of Lords who gave their lives during the two world wars. In front of this case is a block of timber from the jetty used during the evacuation of Dunkirk by the British Expeditionary Force in 1940.

Trials, receptions and addresses

A number of trials were conducted in the Royal Gallery during the early 20th century, such as the trial of Earl Russell in 1901 on the charge of bigamy, and the trial of Lord de Clifford by his peers in 1935.

Addresses from both Houses of Parliament were presented to George V on 19 November 1918 on the signing of the armistice, and to George VI on 17 May and 21 August 1945 upon the conclusion of the wars in Europe and the Pacific.

The Royal Gallery has also been used for receptions for visiting foreign statesmen and dignitaries such as Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia in 1954 and Nikita Krushchev of the Soviet Union in 1956.

The US Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have also addressed both Houses here, as have King Juan Carlos of Spain and President François Mitterand of France.

Related information

See the Royal Gallery on a virtual tour of the House of Lords

Did you know?

Daniel Maclise used the Robing Room as his studio (and postal address) while completing his paintings in the Royal Gallery.