The Queen died on Thursday, September 8, at Balmoral Castle, which is said to be her favourite of all the royal residences she frequented. A few days before her death, the late monarch was pictured in one of the rooms in Balmoral, giving royal fans a glimpse of the mansion’s interior design.
The room featured a large fireplace with a gold clock at its centre and two candelabras on either side of it.
There were also flowers, gold-framed paintings, and two sage green sofas facing one another.
Although it had a classy and sophisticated feel to it, the room was still understated – the décor was simple and the ornaments subtle.
According to interior design experts, the Queen preferred simplicity. She had a “make do and mend” approach, which meant that she would only buy something new for the home if something was unfixable and had to be replaced.
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The interior designer Tim Gosling, who carried out consultancy work for Buckingham Palace, said: “She was of the generation to whom it would be anathema to have a room ‘designed’.
“She only made changes when she really had to; when something was worn out. The Queen Mother used to collect a lot of art, and so does the King, but Queen Elizabeth wasn’t so interested, partly because there just wasn’t any wall space, but also because it wasn’t her big focus.
“She was much more concerned about all the things she had to restore, from the oil paintings to the furniture to the very fabric of the buildings.”
Interior designer Emma Burs of the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler confirmed Her Majesty’s preference for an understated look.
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“It was something that had no value, but made her smile – and you see that in some of the late Queen’s rooms at Buckingham Palace too.
“Once you get used to the fact that you’re in the palace, you notice a sense of normality to the grandness. At the private entrance to her quarters, for example, there were toys, old pushchair toys which looked as if they’d been there forever.
“It was nice to see, because it made it look like a real home. At Sandringham, she had a jigsaw table set up by a window.”
Emma added that at Balmoral, there was a “calmness” to the rooms, such as the one where the late monarch was last photographed. She said the room was also “practical and dog-friendly”.
“The Queen lived this life of huge duty, right to the end, always looking interested and pleasant. I imagine that when she relaxed, she just wanted everything to be really quite unfussy,” the interior designer concluded.