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  • Writer's pictureManasa Mynampati

Royal Pavilion - Brighton

Updated: Jan 31

I walked past the pavilion several times but never got the chance to explore the same. Finally, we made it to the inside of the building last week and we were lucky to get the entry tickets for half price (sale for local residents).

Here goes its history...

It all started in the 18th century with George IV, before his coronation. He was advised by his doctor to get a regular seawater dip as the salts proved beneficial to his health. His prolonged stay near to sea demanded a royal holiday home in Brighton. A pavilion was built for his pleasure and relaxation where he organised many parties. Once he became king he invested more in this palace but visited only twice. When Victoria became the Queen she decided to strip the building and demolish it but later sold it to the local Brighton council. Many artefacts from the pavilion were moved to London. Brighton Council maintained the Royal Pavilion well for its history. Later in Queen Mary's reign, she returned a few artefacts to the Pavilion for the public.

During World War, the pavilion was used as an Indian Military hospital. Few pictures and letters written by Indian soldiers to then rulers explaining the situation about the war are still there in the pavilion. There is also a miniature of Bhagavad-Gita which is well preserved. Sometimes it is a proud moment to know that the place where I am standing was once used by my Kin who fought for their lives even though they do not have anything to do with the war.

The shape of the building resembles an Indian Mosque with a dome structure. It has two stories where the ground floor was much used for banquets and entertainment. A big dining hall, music room and a kitchen are the major rooms. The dining room is not that huge but is well designed with Chinese artwork. It can accommodate a maximum of 25 members and the ceiling has beautifully carved dragons and peacocks holding the chandeliers. Walls are decorated with dragon-themed tapestries and the room is filled with red and golden colours.

The kitchen adjacent to the dining hall is the only one that is in good shape with its copper cutlery and saucepans. A beautiful Christmas tree is in the centre of the kitchen which is decorated with measuring spoons representing the saucepans of the kitchen which I fancied a lot.

The music room is a small room but with very attractive interiors. The main colours of the room are again scarlet red and gold but with a greenish hue here and there to represent the dragons and serpents of china. The tapestry on the wall has a hand painting that depicts a natural scene from a medieval Chinese village. The carpets and curtains in the room are well-matched with wall decorations. Even the Christmas tree in the room has musical instruments and handmade dancing dolls to match the theme. I appreciate the effort the team has taken to design the Christmas trees in each room of the pavilion to perfectly match the room. In fact, the staff person who made the dolls was standing right there observing us from a corner. My husband and I were having a deep conversation appreciating the old and new artwork. When we are finally done and about to leave the room, he couldn't stop himself and told us that he was the one who designed the dolls.

The next floor has bedrooms and reading rooms for the king and queen. The rooms are very small and I was a bit surprised with the beds as they were of regular sizes which we usually have at home (compared to Indian palaces.. even though they are holiday homes) and then I realized I am visiting a pavilion which is in the United Kingdom.

Another cute little attraction for Christmas, which my toddler enjoyed the most in the entire trip, is the mouse trail. In every room, there is a family of tiny mice who had their own world.

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