A few weeks ago, the King’s Gallery next to Buckingham Palace reopened with a new exhibition, but also with a new name.

Since opening in 1962 and up to just a few weeks ago, it has been The Queen’s Gallery. Although it was initially indicated that the name wouldn’t change with the changing of the monarch, late last year, they announced the name would change after all.

It remained the Queen’s Gallery for a while longer, until the end of their last exhibition.

While the gallery was closed in between displays, scaffolding appeared over the portico entrance. The old lettering was taken down fairly quickly, and then there was a lengthy pause.

One other change that did take place, though, is that the signs outside the shop said King’s Gallery, while the old poster on the wall still said Queen’s Gallery, as did the shop itself inside the building.

However, just a couple of days before the gallery was due to reopen, a man was up on the scaffold with a drill and gold lettering, and quickly, the scaffold cladding came down overnight, revealing the newly minted King’s Gallery.

It’s one of those small things that has to be done when we change the monarch, but they only happen every few decades, unlike if we kept changing the President every few years. And barring something unexpected happening, it’s unlikely that The King’s Gallery will be renamed again until at least the 22nd century.

However, although King has replaced Queen on all the official signs, there’s one place where Queen Elizabeth II will reign for eternity – the large stone plaque by the door marking the restoration of the gallery in 2002.

I checked, and there are no plans to amend the sign to say, for example, The King’s Gallery (formerly The Queen’s Gallery), as might have been possible.

The current exhibition, Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography is on until October 2024.


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  1. MilesT says:

    The could have future proofed it..”The Royal Gallery”

  2. Pierre says:

    “It’s one of those small things that has to be done when we change the monarch, but they only happen every few decades, unlike if we kept changing the President every few years.”

    What an odd thing to say. Countries with presidents do not name or gender buildings, or events, or QC/KC, or stamps, or banknotes by the name their current sitting president, so no such changes are required every few years, nor every few decades.

    • ianVisits says:

      Most countries I lived in when I was younger had their incumbent President on their stamps and banknotes, and plenty of buildings named, and often renamed, after Presidents in, or out of favour at the time.

    • Juno says:

      Well… there’s not only JFK airport in New York, there’s a Bill and Hillary Clinton airport in Little Rock, George Bush airport in Houston, and numerous others – not least Ronald Reagan airport in Washington DC, the one that really ought to be renamed with every change of regime.

  3. Andy Bell says:

    Whatever the name, this is a welcoming gallery with interesting exhibitions, not least the current one.

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