Did you see Marble Arch in the series premiere of Victoria on ITV? As our Story of Marble Arch details, it was designed to be both a grandiose gateway to the new royal residence of Buckingham Palace and an exuberant celebration of British victories in the Napoleonic Wars – a Triumphal Arch.
At the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, Marble Arch welcomed all guests to the new official Royal residence – Buckingham Palace. The Arch was completed in 1833 although the central gates were not added until 1837, just in time for Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne. Queen Victoria, the subject of the award-winning ITV programme, was the first monarch to reside in Buckingham Palace – previously called Buckingham House.
The creators no doubt gained inspiration from the famous paintings to recreate the image of Marble Arch’s original home in front of Buckingham Palace. As you can see from the show snapshots and the paintings, Marble Arch truly was the gateway to Buckingham Palace. The Arch acted as such for seventeen years.
However, by 1847, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert commissioned Edward Blore to design a new wing for Buckingham Palace. Blore’s enlarged Buckingham Palace overshadowed Marble Arch, resulting in it seen as unsatisfactory entry to the Royal household.
Today, this wing is the most recognisable part of the palace as it serves as the “public face” of Buckingham Palace, and contains the balcony from which the royal family acknowledge the crowds on momentous occasions and after the annual Trooping the Colour.
In 1850, Marble Arch was moved to its current location of Cumberland Gate where it would form a grand entrance to Hyde Park in time for Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851. Fingers crossed we see this in later series!