Look beyond our main stage and discover a the fascinating histories of several more spaces around this iconic building…
PRINCE OF WALES ROOM
The opulent and comfortable Prince of Wales Room was originally for the use of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), who purchased Grand Tier Box 17 in 1866. It passed to successive Princes of Wales and then to the Duke of Gloucester, who passed it onto the Hall in 1953. Since then it has been used as the room where the Hall’s Council meet.
- The Prince of Wales Room was originally the complementary room to the original Queen’s Room (now the Clive Room).
- Look on the walls to see a list of the Presidents, as well as Vice-Presidents, of the Corporation of the Hall, the ruling body of this institution.
- This room houses the majority of Charles Graham-Dixon’s collection of art, who was once Vice-President of the Royal Albert Hall, bequeathed to the Hall in 1986.
Look out for…
In 2010, the Charles Graham-Dixon collection of art was restored, glazed for protection and hung in both this room and the Clive Room, in the presence of his grandson Andrew Graham-Dixon – art critic, journalist and TV presenter.
The works in this room mainly focus on Dutch 17th century art, including a piece by Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger (1580-1649) painted on copper, as well as some Italian paintings a Carpaccio and just one English work, a nice example of the Norwich School probably by Joseph Stannard dating from the 1820s.
HENRY COLE ROOM
The Henry Cole Room is named after the driving force behind the building of the Royal Albert Hall, and indeed the development of Albertopolis in general, Henry Cole.
- The Henry Cole Room houses a collection of art, fascinating archival photographs and prints which depicts the construction of the Hall nearly 150 years ago.
Henry Cole who?
The eponymous Sir Henry Cole was an inventor, civil servant and the man to whom the construction of South Kensington cultural quarter of institutions including the Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Natural History Museum, is credited.
A man of an incredible number of talents, his inventions included a teapot manufactured by Minton, he wrote a series of children’s books including An Alphabet of Quadrupeds, he has been credited with the design of the first postage stamp, and in 1843 introduced the world’s first commercial Christmas card.
Under the patronage of Prince Albert, Cole managed the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851, and was instrumental in the decision to spend the huge £186,000 surplus from the exhibition on purchasing the land at South Kensington where the Royal Albert Hall now stands, among other great cultural institutions.
- The bust of Cole contained within the room was sculpted by artist Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), and presented to the Hall by Henry Cole himself in 1872.
The Clive Room is named after Colin Clive – member of the Council, Honorary Treasurer, a Vice-President, Fellow of the Hall, and major benefactor to the charity.
Originally the Queen Victoria’s Retiring Room, the Clive Room was used by Kings and patrons of the Hall for nearly 100 years until it was repurposed as offices for High execs at the Hall in the 1970s. Today, having undergone a major redecoration by interior designer Nina Campbell in 2007, the room holds several art works and antiques, and boasts a magnificent view of the Albert Memorial and Hyde Park.
- When it was originally constructed, the Clive Room was twice the height of the present room!
- In the summer of 2007, five of the most valuable art gems from the Charles Graham-Dixon collection were hung on permanent display in the Clive Room, all from the Dutch Golden Age, including paintings by Pieter de Hooch (1629-1681) and Jacob van Ruisdael (1628-1682).
Look out for…
On the walls, you can spot a lovely pendulum clock, made by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) in 1823. Vulliamy was clockmaker to four monarchs [George III, George IV , William IV and Queen Victoria, and the Clive Vulliamy Wall Clock is a fine example of his work. The clock is owned by the Clive family and is on loan to The Clive Room at the Royal Albert Hall.
Explore these rooms and learn more about the history they hide as part of one of our several guided tours around the building.
These private rooms and spaces are available to hire, for private events for anything from 20 to 5,000 guests, day or night.