Throne room
A throne room is the room, often rather a hall, in the official residence of the crown, either a palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 or a fortified castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

, where the throne
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the...

 of a senior figure (usually a monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

) is set up with elaborate pomp— usually raised, often with steps, and under a canopy
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

, both of which are part of the original notion of the Greek word thronos.


A throne room is an impressive setting for a monarch to preside 'in majesty' over official ceremonies, to hold council, to grant audiences, to receive homage, to award high honors and offices, and to perform other official functions. Any of these could just as well be transferred, even on a permanent basis, to one or more other rooms, even outside the palace or ambulant.

A common misconception is that kings and other ruling princes governed their lands seated on a throne for most of the working day. In earlier times this may have been true for some rulers who actually presided over their council; yet often another room was used, but only in peacetime.

Many others were almost constantly on the move with an ambulant court. It could even have been that the crown did not have an effective capital, as in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 during most of the time before the Norman conquest. Or it could have been that the crown had, rather, a series of alternative residences, as did the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

s. In their case, these developed into palatinates
Count palatine
Count palatine is a high noble title, used to render several comital styles, in some cases also shortened to Palatine, which can have other meanings as well.-Comes palatinus:...

 under the Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 Dynasty when they also acquired extensive crown lands outside Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and their court often travelled on an almost continental scale.

Other monarchies frequently changed their capital, but then they would have used a mobile throne, possibly in addition to the permanent one used for enthronement
An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. This ritual is generally distinguished from a coronation because there is no crown or other regalia that is physically...

 and/or coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

. There are cases in Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 where the very name of the 'capital' is not a fixed place, but was the place wherever a king settled for a few years. In some climates court migrated annually between a summer and a winter capital. It was also common to spend quite some time, without need for practical reason, in secondary residences, not in the least hunting lodges.

Even when their capitals were well fixed English and French Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 kings used to travel extensively, and maintained many royal castles in addition to visits to grandee
Grandee is the word used to render in English the Iberic high aristocratic title Grande , used by the Spanish nobility; Portuguese nobility, and Brazilian nobility....

s of the realm. Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

's most frequently used residence was, in fact, at Hampton Court
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

, not in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


Even when in the main or only palace, the monarch often spent much time in other parts of the residence, such as the dining hall, the chapel, private quarters (for rest and family life), possibly separate presence room, council chamber, ballroom, gardens, court theatre and other recreational facilities.

Nowadays throne rooms are only used for occasional grand ceremonies. Paper work is done in an office, and most guests are received in a salon.

Notable throne rooms

The following are notable throne rooms. Others are listed in the article on throne
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the...


Ajuda Palace, Lisboa

The Portuguese Throne room (pt. Sala do Trono) is in the Piano nobile
Piano nobile
The piano nobile is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of classical renaissance architecture...

 of the Ajuda National Palace
Ajuda National Palace
The Ajuda National Palace is a neoclassical monument in the civil parish of Ajuda in the city of Lisbon, centralPortugal. Built on the site of a temporary wooden building constructed to house the Royal family after the 1755 earthquake and tsunami, it was originally begun by architect Manuel...

 (Palácio Nacional da Ajuda) in Lisbon. The present decoration is from the XIX’s century, with walls covered with crimson velvet, gold gilded French mirrors and a major Tabriz carpet from the XVIII’s century in the precious wood floor. The ceiling is covered with Máximo dos Reis allegorical fresco and a huge crystal chandelier.

The thrones are from Portuguese fabric, second half of the XVIII’s century with the Portuguese coat of arms on the top handled by two angels. This fauteuil
A fauteuil is a style of open-arm chair with a primarily exposed wooden frame originating in France in the early 18th century. A fauteuil is made of wood, and frequently with carved relief ornament. It is typically upholstered on the seat, the seat back and on the arms . Some fauteuils have a...

s ware made to substitute the Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier
Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier
Juste Aurèle Meissonier was a French goldsmith, sculptor, painter, architect, and furniture designer.He was born at Turin, but became known as a worker in Paris, where he died. His Italian origin and training were probably responsible for the extravagance of his decorative style...

’s throne made to John V of Portugal  and destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
1755 Lisbon earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which almost totally destroyed Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and...

. This throne was in Silver-gilt
Silver-gilt or gilded/gilt silver, sometimes known in American English by the French term vermeil, is silver gilded with gold. Most large objects made in goldsmithing that appear to be gold are actually silver-gilt; for example most sporting trophies, medals , and many crown jewels...

, with winged dragons, the heraldic symbolf of the House of Braganza
House of Braganza
The Most Serene House of Braganza , an important Portuguese noble family, ruled the Kingdom of Portugal and its colonial Empire, from 1640 to 1910...

, and the arms of Portugal supported by two allegorical statues, Europe and America.
The Throne room is still used for state events of the Portuguese Republic.

Royal Palace of Madrid

The Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 of Madrid
) is the official residence
Official residence
An official residence is the residence at which heads of state, heads of government, gubernatorial or other senior figures officially reside...

 of the Spanish monarch. The throne room is unique, as it retains the original decor from the days of Carlos III
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

. The sumptuous room has gold garnishing with crimson-velvet wall coverings complemented by a Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice...

 ceiling, lit by a rock crystal chandelier. Adorning the room are huge mirrors made in the royal glass factory of La Granja
La Granja (palace)
The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is an 18th century palace in the small town of San Ildefonso in the hills near Segovia, 80 km north of Madrid, central Spain, formerly the summer residence of the Kings of Spain since the reign of Philip V...


The Royal Family
Spanish Royal Family
The Royal Family of the Kingdom of Spain consists of the current king, Juan Carlos, his spouse, Queen Sofia of Spain and their direct descendants. The Spanish royal family belongs to the House of Borbón...

 does not reside in the palace, instead choosing a smaller, more modest palace, the Palacio de la Zarzuela
Palacio de la Zarzuela
Zarzuela Palace is the principal residence of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia and their family. The palace is on the outskirts of Madrid, near the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The complex also houses the official residence of the Prince and Princess of Asturias in a nearby mansion...

, on the outskirts of Madrid. However, the Palacio Real de Madrid remains the official residence of the Spanish monarchy and is used for state occasions.


Once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 and the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

 for over 600 years, the Hofburg Imperial Palace
Hofburg Imperial Palace
Hofburg Palace is a palace located in Vienna, Austria, that has housed some of the most powerful people in Austrian history, including the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria...

's throne room now serves as a conference centre, used by the Austrian Congress and for other international events.


The throne was commissioned by Louis XIV and was in use up until 1789. In 1837 the Château de Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

 became a national museum. As part of the greater Versailles
Versailles , a city renowned for its château, the Palace of Versailles, was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. It is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and remains an important administrative and judicial centre...

 museum, the room is open to the public. Compare: Lit de justice
Lit de Justice
Lit de Justice is an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse. He was bred by Robert Sangster's Swettenham Stud, and purchased by the French racing operation Mise de Moratalla who named him for a famous Parlement of Paris known as the Lit de justice...


Fontainebleau Palace

Preferring Fontainebleau over Versailles, Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 had Louis XV's
Louis XV of France
Louis XV was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1 September 1715 until his death. He succeeded his great-grandfather at the age of five, his first cousin Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, served as Regent of the kingdom until Louis's majority in 1723...

 bedroom converted into a throne room and it was here that Napoleon abdicated. The palace was last used by Napoleon III when it was later declared a national monument in 1871, after the collapse of the empire.

Monaco: Prince's Palace,

For over 700 years, the Grimaldi
House of Grimaldi
The House of Grimaldi is associated with the history of the Republic of Genoa and of the Principality of Monaco.-History:The Grimaldi family descends from Grimaldo, a Genoese statesman at the time of the early Crusades. He might have been a son of Otto Canella, a consul of the Republic of Genoa in...

 family have ruled Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 and it is in this throne room that many historic festivals and ceremonies have taken place since the 16th century. It also where most civil marriages of the royal family occur, before then having a religious ceremony elsewhere.

Residence of Munich

The residence of the Wittelsbach
The Wittelsbach family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.Members of the family served as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria , Counts Palatine of the Rhine , Margraves of Brandenburg , Counts of Holland, Hainaut and Zeeland , Elector-Archbishops of Cologne , Dukes of...

 monarchs of Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 has many throne-rooms. They were all built in the 19th century, after the monarchs of Bavaria became kings. Therefore the throne-rooms are all in the classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...



Note that the throne room of this beautiful, dream-like castle does not have a throne in it - the reason being that Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death. He is sometimes called the Swan King and der Märchenkönig, the Fairy tale King...

, its commissioner, did not live to see Neuschwanstein's completion, therefore one was never installed.

Iolani Palace

These thrones were used by King David Kalakaua, his wife Queen Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani formally Esther Kapiolani or Esther Kapiolani Napelakapuokakae, was married to King David Kalākaua and reigned as Queen Consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Life:...

, and his successor Queen Liliuokalani. Kalakaua and his wife actually disliked sitting on the thrones, instead preferring to stand in front of them while receiving guests. King Kalakaua held formal audiences, diplomatic receptions, and state balls, receiving and entertaining guests from all walks of life, from royalty and diplomats to writers, entertainers, and sportsmen. The trial of Queen Lili'uokalani also occurred in this room where she was founded guilty and imprisoned within the palace by the Republic of Hawaii
Republic of Hawaii
The Republic of Hawaii was the formal name of the government that controlled Hawaii from 1894 to 1898 when it was run as a republic. The republic period occurred between the administration of the Provisional Government of Hawaii which ended on July 4, 1894 and the adoption of the Newlands...

. The throne room, like the rest of the palace, is open to the public.


Used by the Tsars of Russia, the dais
Dais is any raised platform located either in or outside of a room or enclosure, often for dignified occupancy, as at the front of a lecture hall or sanctuary....

 and throne of the Peterhof Palace
Peterhof Palace
The Peterhof Palace in Russian, so German is transliterated as "Петергoф" Petergof into Russian) for "Peter's Court") is actually a series of palaces and gardens located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the...

 dominate the eastern wall with a large picture presenting Catherine II on her horse. The room also holds numerous oil paintings and eleven chandeliers.

Winter Palace

Regarded as the throne of Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the throne of St. George's Hall (or large throne room) is set atop the seven-stepped dais
Dais is any raised platform located either in or outside of a room or enclosure, often for dignified occupancy, as at the front of a lecture hall or sanctuary....

 with a proscenium arch above and the symbol of the Imperial Family behind (the two-headed eagle).

Peter I's Room (the smaller throne room) is modest in comparison to the former. The throne was made for Empress Anna Ivanovna in London and the picture behind displays Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 with Minerva
Minerva was the Roman goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic...


Buckingham Palace

The throne room of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

, residence of the British Monarch in the capital city of London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, is used for court gatherings and as a second dancing room. It is dominated by a proscenium arch supported by a pair of winged figures of 'victory' holding garlands above the two thrones, which are originals from the Queen's coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 in 1953.

It is in the throne room that the Queen, on special occasions, receives loyal addresses. Another use of the throne room has been for formal wedding photographs.

St James's Palace

Although British monarchs have resided in Buckingham Palace since the days of Queen Victoria, St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

 remains the senior palace of the British monarchy. St James's remains a busy working palace, and also retains an important ceremonial function: it still is the place where the Accession Council
Accession Council
In the United Kingdom, the Accession Council is a ceremonial body which assembles in St. James's Palace upon the death of a monarch , to make a formal proclamation of the accession of his or her successor to the throne, and to receive a religious oath from the new monarch...

 customarily meets to proclaim the new Sovereign and to receive from him the required oath.

St. James's Throne Room is used for official occasions. For instance it is in this Room that the Lord Mayor and Councillors of the City of Westminster usually present an address of welcome to visiting Heads of State on State Visits.

While the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace has two Throne Chairs, one for the reigning King or Queen and another for the monarch's consort, the Throne Room at St. James's Palace contains only one Throne Chair, pertaining to the Sovereign. As in the case of Buckingham Palace, the Thone is placed under a canopy.

The velvet cloth behind the Throne is dominated by the Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.

Palace of Westminster

Although the primary purpose and reputation of the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 is as the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, it is also officially a royal residence. While the Palace has no throne room per se, the Lords Chamber
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 contains at its head a throne, used by the Monarch for addressing Parliament in the Speech from the Throne
Speech from the Throne
A speech from the throne is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign reads a prepared speech to a complete session of parliament, outlining the government's agenda for the coming session...

 and other royal addresses, arguably making the Chamber something of a throne room.

Colloquial usage

In British English, "throne room" is also used as a euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 for "lavatory".

Dublin Castle

Located in the State Apartments, the Throne Room in Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland...

 is preserved intact from the period of British rule in Ireland, when both Lords Lieutenant and visiting monarchs from Britain would use the room during important ceremonies held in the Castle. These included the investing of a new Lord Lieutenant every five years, the presentation of débutantes to the Lord Lieutenant during the Castle Season held leading up to St. Patrick's Day, and the presentation of subjects to visiting monarchs on official State visits to Ireland. The throne canopy dates to the late 18th century, while the throne was made for the visit of George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 to Ireland in 1821, and was last used by George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 in 1911. The Throne Room no longer has any role in modern-day State ceremonial. However Dublin Castle still plays an important role in this respect, serving as the location for the inauguration of the President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

every seven years. This takes place in the much larger and grander St. Patrick's Hall, the 18th century ballroom of the Viceregal Court, positioned almost adjacent to the Throne Room.


Malaysia has 1 reigning royal household in each of its 9 hereditary states. Therefore there are separate palaces and throne rooms for each of the individual states.
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