A Clue at the Buckingham Palace

CUSTODIO, Patricia Mariell A.


Time the entry was posted: 3:10 PM; March 12, 2012 (Monday)

          National Treasure: The Book of Secrets (directed by Jon TurtelTaub) is a very intriguing movie. Once I started watching the movie, I got so engaged with the plot since I am also interested in movies wherein there would be a lot of analyzing and solving clues. They have searched in several places all over the world, including the very famous Buckingham Palace.


              Ben Gates (portrayed by Nicolas Cage) together with Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), found a clue in Paris, France that their next piece of clue for the treasure would be found in a place where the HMS Resolute, a British Ship may have had a connection to. In this movie, Queen Victoria was said to have two desks made from the timbers of this ship, and it was called the Resolute Desks or Twins. One of the Resolute Desks was said to have been located in London, specifically in the Buckingham Palace inside the Queen’s room.


The Buckingham Palace

                A glimpse of the frontal view of the Buckingham Palace was shown as Ben and Riley entered the palace. This NEO-CLASSICAL palace was made from about the early 1700s until the 19th century. It was known before as the Buckingham house. It was supposed to be only a large townhouse for the Duke by John Sheffeild until George III bought it for his wife, Queen Charlotte then calling it the Queen’s House. When George IV took the throne, the so-called Queen’s House needed repair. John Nash was instructed by George IV to redesign this palace and make it look like a mansion, in which he also wanted to revive some classical styles. It had many revisions until Queen Victoria’s reign. With this, I can say that a lot of period styles have been used as inspiration for the making of the palace, considering it was neo-classical. The façade was symmetrical but not flat. Pilasters and columns with composite capitals were also used in the structure. Windows were rectangular with niches above it. Pediments were also built with entablatures. The entrance was by the central portico of the structure, in the form of an arch. The Buckingham Palace has a very simple exterior.

                As Ben and Riley entered, I realized that the interior was more eye-catching compared to the exterior. This style have been going on for several years, the exterior not being so extravagant as to surprise the person with the design of the interiors. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) followed them to London, which made Ben surprised. Fortunately, they needed to get to the security system, so Ben Gates decided to make a scene by the staircase. The staircase itself had already a detailed and elegant motif. It had complicated curves/scrolls.


            The movie went on until they were able to enter the Queen’s office. There stood the Resolute Desk. As they were observing the room, the design of the interior was more shown. The style was very elegant, having curves as motifs, also as floor patterns, which reminded me of the Rococo style of decoration. In the photo below, different angles or parts of the office were shown. The top-left and bottom picture shows the intricate and elegant design of the interior. As of the top-right picture, the details of the floor pattern were seen, more of motifs related to nature, and curves.


               Many motifs from different period styles (such as the RENAISSANCE) have been used for the design of the interior, which made me say that this is neo-classical. Swags were used in most of the rooms as wall decor, making the rooms have a sense of elegance and touch of gentleness. It may have had a part of ROCOCO style because of how detailed every part of the Buckingham palace is – from walls, floors, ceilings of each room, up to the furniture regardless of the size. Different motifs and structures have different meanings. For instance, royal houses such as this palace would normally use curves and large furniture and decorations to show a sense of authority and royalty.


Staircase at Buckingham


Motifs were mostly swags, and Guilloche-inspired. Ceiling was also very complicated.


The pictures show how detailed even the furnitures are.

        As I have stated, it was George IV who made revisions after George III but sadly, he died before even having the chance to make use of his palace. William IV have also made his own revisions through Edward Blore but he did not like the design. It was Queen Victoria who have made used of the palace. It became their residence – rooms were added such as nurseries and guest rooms.

      The Buckingham Palace is not only a house for the royal family, or their private property. Everything including arts and the whole palace itself belonged to their nation.

Sources for pictures and information:



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