King Charles met Ursula von der Leyen yesterday in a lavish room at Windsor Castle
Not to be confused with its namesake in Buckingham Palace, the White Drawing Room at Windsor is steeped in history.
It is one of three semi-state rooms created as private apartments for George IV. Their interiors were decorated by firm Morel & Seddon, with a selection of furnishings and fittings taken from Carlton House, George IV’s former London residence.
The White, Crimson and Green drawing rooms, were used by the late Queen for formal entertaining – a tradition continued by the current monarch.
The White Drawing Room contains some priceless objets d’art, from a portrait of Queen Victoria to a carpet that survived the Windsor Castle fire in 1992.
King Charles (left) met with Ursula von der Leyen (centre) in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle (pictured) – a semi-state room steeped in history
1. Franz Winterhalter portrait of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria in 1843, painted by Franz Winterhalter, wearing Garter regalia
The walls of the White Drawing Room are adorned with priceless art, notably a Franz Winterhalter portrait of Queen Victoria.
The painting, one of two similar portraits Winterhalter painted of the queen in 1842, shows the queen wearing Garter regalia.
Not seen in the photos of King Charles’ audience are two more Winterhalter portraits – one of Prince Albert, and another of the young Prince Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, among other paintings of royals.
2. Carpet that survived the great fire
Despite being damaged by smoke in the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, the Axminster carpet has been restored to its full glory
The floor of the White Drawing Room is covered with a carpet by famed Devon-based manufacturer Axminster Carpets that dates back to at least 1890.
Despite being damaged by smoke in the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, the rug has since been restored.
The carpet, which was fitted in 1851 during the reign of Queen Victoria, was originally fitted in the Green Drawing Room.
3. Remond mantel clock
This Remond mantel clock, which sits atop the mantel piece, is one of the ornate decorative pieces lending a lavish air to the room
A Remond mantel clock, with gold decal, can be seen on top of the fireplace.
Adorning the clock is a draped bronze figure, thought to represent Astronomy. She addresses another figure, a youth carrying two parchment rolls and a pair of calipers.
The clock, which is dated to between 1780 and 1829, was taken from George IV’s former London residence Carlton House to decorate this room.
The candelabra adorning the mantelpiece were made by Etienne Falconet, and feature a faun and nymph holding a cornucopia
Also on top of the mantel piece are a pair of candelabra. The lighting fixtures take the shape of classical figures wearing draping robes.
Each of the pieces, which were designed by Etienne Falconet, feature a faun and nymph holding a cornucopia.
They are thought to be part of a set that is moved around the room as needed.
5. Planter of white flowers
No royal room would be complete without fresh flowers or plants on view – and the White Drawing Room is no exception, boasting a potted plant
Fresh flowers are never missing from royal residences.
Photos from King Charles’ meeting with Ursula von der Leyen show a plant pot hosting a small plant boasting foliage and white leaves.
6. Gilt panels
The gilt panels were designed by Morel & Seddon during the king’s extensive refurbishment of the royal residence between 1827 and 1830
Nowhere is the opulent stamp of George IV more clear in the drawing room than in the gilt panelled walls.
They were designed by Morel & Seddon during the king’s extensive refurbishment of the royal residence between 1827 and 1830.
The gilt frames and gold brocade adorning the walls and doors are seen throughout the room, bringing a deeply lavish touch.
7. Fire guard
The ornate fireguard with a gold gilt frame perfectly completements the opulent decor in the rest of the room
A fireguard – white, matching the theme of the room – can be seen in front of the fireplace within the drawing room.
While it may be purely decorative, it could also protect the rest of the light-coloured room from any ash and other detritus in case a roaring log fire is set.
Below a large overmanetl mirror, the black fireplaces is adorned with decorative gold panelling
No grand drawing room is complete without an ornate fireplace, and this Windsor Castle space certainly meets the mark.
It is touches like the fireplace – which is adorned with an opulent gold design, that give the room its luxurious touch and make it suitable for so many big occasions.
As well as being used by the monarch for formal meetings, the room was also chosen by Princess Eugenie for her wedding photos when she married Jack Brooksbank.
9. Duchy door
Just visible in the photos from King Charles’ meeting with Ursula von der Leyen are the double Duchy doors, which are decorated in gold
The ornate gold doors were designed by Morel & Seddon, the main suppliers of furnishings to King George IV.
The gilt frames and gold brocade design is continued throughout the room – displaying the opulent taste for which the early 19th century King was known.
This pair of double doors lead to the crimson and green drawing rooms.
10. Pale silk sofa
The three-seat settee is part of a four-piece suite, with two matching armchairs and a two-seater.
Coordinating with the room’s name, these pieces of furniture are all made from identical white silk.
While made from the lavish fabric, the seating offers the room a somewhat homely touch, offering a departure from the rest of the room’s extremely ornate furnishings.