Photographing Historic Royal Palaces

Behind the scenes

The Queen's Drawing Room doorway by Simon JarrattHistoric Royal Palaces

Opening up our palaces

Historic Royal Palaces is a charity, and we are responsible for the care of six incredible palaces. Our partnership with Google Arts and Culture has created new ways for people to see and enjoy the palaces online.

Photographing the Pond Gardens at Hampton Court Palace (2022)Historic Royal Palaces

Photographing the palaces for Street View

In summer 2022, we photographed Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and surrounding parks and gardens in a series of 360-degree panoramic images. These images have been mapped onto Google Street View. Come inside and take a virtual stroll in the footsteps of monarchs

Extreme photography

The  team walked over 86 miles - nearly the distance from the Tower of London to Stonehenge! - taking 360-degree panoramic images at nearly 1,000 stops along the way to become a series of virtual Streetview tours through two royal palaces and a 600-acre royal park.

A selection of the photography at Hampton Court Palace was captured on the hottest day of 2022, when the temperature reached 40.2C at nearby Heathrow Airport. Some of our beautiful gardens may have looked a bit thirsty – and so were we!

Photographing a wall painting in the Queen's Drawing Room at Hampton Court Palace (2023)Historic Royal Palaces

Photographing the interiors in ultra-high resolution

The palaces interiors are beautifully decorated and we have photographed them in ultra-fine detail, in many cases for the first time at this resolution.

The size and scale of the ceiling and wall paintings means a single image wouldn't capture much of the detail. So multiple photographs were taken at high resolution and stitched together to achieve the end result.

The King's Gallery, Kensington Palace (2019) by Robin ForsterHistoric Royal Palaces

The largest painting we photographed was the King's Gallery ceiling at Kensington Palace which required 63 separate photographs taken from seven different camera positions that were then stitched together. The photography took a total of 3.5 days to complete.

The Four Corners of the Globe Pay Homage To Britannia (1703-1705) by Antonio VerrioHistoric Royal Palaces

The end result is that these beautiful wall paintings and ceiling paintings are now available to view online on Google Arts and Culture. Browse the collection and zoom in to admire the smallest details.

Conservation work of the Little Banqueting House, Hampton Court Palace (2022) by Richard Lea-HairHistoric Royal Palaces

The images also record the interior decorations which will help us with our continuing conservation work.

Find out more about visiting the six palaces that we care for at hrp.org.uk

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