Royal Pavilion

Welcome to an extraordinary and extravagant pleasure palace. Built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, in stages between 1787 and 1823, the Royal Pavilion is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. This magnificent royal pleasure palace was revered by fashionable Regency society and is still a distinctive landmark for vibrant Brighton & Hove today. The Royal Pavilion is also home to some of the finest collections and examples of the chinoiserie style in Britain.

The Royal Pavilion started as a modest 18th century farmhouse. Architect Henry Holland helped George, Prince of Wales, transform his humble seaside retreat into a handsome neo-classical villa – known as the Marine Pavilion.

In the early 19th century, after George IV had succeeded his father as king and hired the eminent architect John Nash, the exotic splendour of the Royal Pavilion as we see it today was finally unveiled.

The interiors
George was a cultured and well-educated man, enthusiastic about the visual arts, music and architecture. He loved chinoiserie – the decorative style inspired by China.

George enjoyed entertaining and surrounded himself with courtiers and fashionable society guests. At the Royal Pavilion he hosted gastronomic feasts in the Banqueting Room, and balls and concerts in the Music Room.

It is these flamboyant, artistic tastes, combined with George IV’s desire to impress, that are evident throughout the Royal Pavilion. The palace became in itself a complete work of art, furnished with exquisite French, English and Chinese export furniture and objects, and adorned with gilded dragons, carved palm trees and imitation bamboo staircases.

Exhibitions and events

Indian Military Hospital Gallery

Permanent exhibition

The Royal Pavilion served as a hospital for Indian Soldiers during WW1. This poignant and often unknown story is told through archive photographs, letters, talks and a new programme of tours. Free...

Educational programs

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