The skylit corridor that leads to the State Dining Room; from Buckingham Palace: The Interiors , by Ashley Hicks; © 2018 Rizzoli.
One might think that interior designer Ashley Hicks would know Buckingham Palace inside and out, given that his grandfather Lord Mountbatten was Prince Philip’s uncle. Think again. “As children we used to go once a year, to see my grandfather ride in the queen’s birthday parade,” he explains, “go into the courtyard to give his horse a sugar lump, and then have a drink in the wonderful chinoiserie Centre Room behind the balcony. I had almost never seen the state rooms.” So when Hicks was asked to produce Buckingham Palace: The Interiors (Rizzoli, $55), the first book about the royal digs in decades, he jumped at the chance. Armed with a Canon Digital SLR, he snapped 21 spaces in about ten days—and all, for once, in natural light. Pictured is the skylit corridor that leads to the State Dining Room. “I spent a great deal of time getting people to turn lights off,” Hicks says, noting that the palace serves as a home, museum, and place of business at the same time. “I’d be ready to take a picture, and suddenly in come the Lord Chamberlain’s Office officials to work out the state banquet for the king of Spain.”