Explore Rubens' ceiling in super close-up detail

Discover the characters and details of Rubens' masterpiece using new super-zoom technology

Discover the characters and details of Rubens' masterpiece using new super-zoom technology

Updated 12 June. As a result of the Coronavirus global pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to close Banqueting House until March 2021. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause. Please read our statement

When

Closed


Ticketing information

Devices are permanently installed in the Banqueting House and the virtual tour is included in the price of your admission ticket.

During busy periods, a small number of extra devices are available from a member of staff.


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Banqueting House tickets

Get an artists' eye view of Rubens' ceiling, down to the level of individual brush strokes added during its creation in the 17th century.

Created using 4,000 high-resolution photos of the ceiling, this new interactive tablet display uses digital super-zoom technology to bring Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece to life.

The accompanying virtual tour includes stories behind the scene's characters and symbols, as well as some unexpected and easy-to-miss details.

The tour is available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, and Italian. A British Sign Language (BSL) version will be available from summer 2019.

Powered by Second Canvas and created by Madpixel in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces.

Close image of Rubens' ceiling at Banqueting House, showing a cherub riding an animal

The crowning glory of the Banqueting House

The Union of the Crowns Rubens ceiling

The Rubens' ceiling is believed to have been commissioned by Charles I in 1629-30. The ceiling includes a powerful depiction of Charles’ father, James VI and I, James VI and I, being carried up to heaven on the wings of a huge eagle.

Just a decade later, after his fall from power, Charles walked under his magnificent ceiling on his way to his execution, on a scaffold erected just outside the Banqueting Hall.

Arches lit by candlelight in the Undercroft of Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Things to see

Explore the vaulted drinking den beneath the Banqueting House, which was used by James I for decadent royal parties.

Closed

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A large four poster bed covered in detailed period fabric, in a bedroom covered in dark green wall decor
Things to see

Explore the beautiful private rooms at Kensington Palace where Mary II once took her meals, relaxed and entertained.

Open from 30 July

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Three suits of armour in cases in the Line of Kings Exhibition in the White Tower of the Tower of London. The two on the left were made for King Henry VIII (as a young boy and as an older man) and the one on the right was made for King Charles I.
Things to see

Marvel at the historic armour of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II in the Line of Kings at the White Tower.

Open from 10 July

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Royal Palace Crest fine bone china tankard (30167796), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china bonbon dish (30167799), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china 17cm plate (30167801), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china 21cm plate (30170352), Royal Palace Crest fine bone china tea cup and saucer (30167797)

Shop Banqueting House Gifts

Our wonderful collection of gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by the Banqueting House.

From £5.99

Palace China Collection, serviettes and cake stand.  Design inspired by the palaces in our care; delicate details taken from the rose gardens at Hampton Court Palace, the famous gates at Kensington Palace and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.   'Tea Fit for a Queen' book - reciipes and drinks for afternoon tea.  Lifestyle

Shop HRP Books & Publications

Discover books inspired by the palaces in our care, learn about fascinating periods of British history, including our official palace guide books, children's books and more.

From £10.99

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

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In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

From £9.99