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Lectures & Workshops


Please use the bar on the right-hand side of the booking calendar below to see the full list of lectures programmed for each month.


BUCKINGHAM PALACE | its history, occupants and contents
Tuesday 24 October 2017 | 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm

How the building developed from a modest Georgian house to the present Palace; from King George III's purchase of a family home in 1762 to the creation of a stunning palace by King George IV and John Nash in the 1820s; to the royal residence used by Queen Victoria and monarchs ever since as the centre of British Court life and the glittering setting for thousands of official functions and State visits.

The Palace also contains hundreds of art treasures from the Royal Collection, including world famous paintings, furniture, sculpture, porcelain, clocks and other objects.

Buckingham Palace, aerial view with the Queen Victoria Memorial in the foreground; the East Front; the internal quadrangle and Grand Entrance; and the garden behind

KING GEORGE III | ‘the most cultured monarch’, art collector, friend of America and family man
Thursday 26 October 2017 | 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm

George III is unjustly remembered solely as having been mad and having lost the American colonies. This lecture corrects this impression. He was a discerning art collector, patron of the arts and artists, friend of America and Americans, and a committed family man. He was also a keen architect who added the future Buckingham Palace to the Royal residences, and re-inhabited Windsor Castle. 

This lecture describes his life, family and wide interests, his patronage of the arts, his important additions to the Royal Collection and his relationship with North America and Americans.

King George III - portrait painted on the occasion of his Coronation
Sir Allan Ramsay, (English, 1713-84), George III (1738-1820), circa 1761-2, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 405307, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Public Domain

KING GEORGE IV | The greatest royal collector of art
Tuesday 31 October 2017 | 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm

George IV was the single greatest Royal collector of art and instigator of architectural projects. He was passionately fond of lavish decoration and display. As Prince of Wales, he refurbished Carlton House in London; and built Brighton Pavilion. As King, he converted Buckingham House into Buckingham Palace; and made huge changes to Windsor Castle. 

He furnished his palaces magnificently with French furniture, clocks, porcelain and sculpture. He was an avid collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens and van Dyck. He patronised contemporary artists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, Lawrence and Stubbs; and the sculptors Canova and Chantrey. He assembled the greatest collection of Sevres porcelain in the world; and a huge amount of historic and contemporary silver and gold objects.

King George IV - on the occasion of his Coronation
Sir Thomas Lawrence (English, 1769-1830), George IV (1762-1830), 1821, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 405918, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Public Domain

QUEEN VICTORIA & PRINCE ALBERT | Patrons of the arts and art collectors
Wednesday 1 November 2017 | 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm

Victoria and Albert were enthusiastic patrons of the arts throughout their marriage, commissioning and collecting works from both British and European artists. These included Old Master paintings, sculpture, furniture, jewellery and fine bindings. Victoria and Albert were as passionate about art as they were about each other. They viewed their roles as patrons of the arts as being part of the public duties of the monarchy. Buckingham Palace was known as ‘the headquarters of taste’. 

They also made important changes at Windsor Castle and added three other distinctive royal residences, Balmoral Castle, Osborne House and Sandringham House. They played a pivotal role with the ground breaking Great Exhibition of 1851, and were important patrons of early photography. 

This lecture also challenges the popular image of Victoria as a melancholy widow and reveals her as a passionate and open-minded woman.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (German, 1805-1873), Queen Victoria (age 23), 1842, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 406010, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Public Domain

OLIVER EVERETT is Librarian Emeritus of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. He was Librarian there and Assistant Keeper of the Royal Archives from 1985 to 2002. He wrote articles on the Royal Library, helped with several books on the Royal Collection, wrote the official guidebook on Windsor Castle, taught a history course on it and advised on a television series on it. 

He was in the British Diplomatic Service, 1967-78, including postings in India and Spain. He was Assistant Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales, 1978-80; and Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales, 1981-83.

He lectures widely in Britain and abroad, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the New York Public Library. In Canada, at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.  In Australia, at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and University of Melbourne; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. And to art societies in Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain and New Zealand; and also on cruise ships. 

He was educated at Cambridge University and did post-graduate work at Tufts University, Massachusetts; and at the London School of Economics.