A room fit for a Queen.
As with many of our great English stately homes, Belton House boasts a Royal bedroom in its collection. A bygone era saw peers rename or even redecorate rooms in their house to honour, accommodate or entertain a visiting monarch. Belton house is one such house that was visited by a Queen in her widowhood after the death of the King.
Belton House fit for a Queen refers to Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, visited Belton on two occasions; the first in July 1840 and the second in September 1841 after being invited by Lady Brownlow in 1837 to the house following King William’s death. The bedroom in which she stayed on both instances was originally known as the “Best Chamber” due to its significant position within the house, situated directly over the saloon. The room was subsequently renamed ‘The Queen’s Bedroom’ after Queen Adelaide’s visits to commemorate her time there.
The decoration of the bed bears both the Queen’s silver monogram on the headboard as well as a crown on top of the bed canopy, at the bed edge.
The Rococo revival style bed was refurbished from an original 1813 scheme for Queen Adelaide in a crimson and straw taboret stripe with moiré finish. The same stripe is then used throughout the furnishings of the room on chairs, stools and pole screens as well as in the window drapery. The room has an overall feeling of femininity due to the textiles and floral Aubusson carpet.
The decadence of decorating a room for a monarch was intended as a show of wealth and respect. It would be a great honour to have a king or queen of the day to make a visit to your home. Other houses with a Royal connection include Hatfield House and Chatsworth House. At Hatfield, the main drawing room of the house is named after King James I, whom visited in 1611. When the king visited he presented a life size stone statue of himself to the house which stands in prime appointment above the fireplace in the room. Although not named after the King and Queen, the 1st Duke of Devonshire built a series of rooms to be used by King William III and Queen Mary II on a royal visit to Chatsworth. These State Apartment rooms are the most important in the house and include the state bedroom, but despite the 1st Duke’s efforts the King and Queen never did visit Chatsworth House.