Setting up a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace

A look behind the scenes as Buckingham Palace prepares to host a State Banquet for The Queen and 150 guests.

Preparations for a State Banquet begin well over a year in advance, but the final build of the State Banquet table starts around five days ahead of the arrival of the visiting Head of State.

The operational arm of Buckingham Palace, The Master of the Household’s department take the main bulk of the responsibility for ensuring the Banquet runs according to plan.


After the Banqueting table is put together, and the decorative display is delivered, unpacked and positioned in place, the final touches are added.

Preparations in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace begin as close to the event as possible — with every dish handmade from scratch.

Every element of the State Banquet is inspected, checked and approved by The Queen, right down to every last detail.

And so it all comes together, finally, at 8pm on the night of the Banquet:

Related content

Press release 28 November 2001

New British Monarchy web site launched

Read more

Christmas Broadcast 1965

A new army is on the march which holds out the brightest hopes for all mankind.

25 December 1965

Christmas Broadcast 1962

Year by year, our families change and grow up. So does our Commonwealth family.

25 December 1962

Christmas Broadcast 1961

For that child was to show that there is nothing in heaven and earth that cannot be achieved by faith and by love and service to one's neighbour.

25 December 1961

Christmas Broadcast 1960

Although the contribution which any one person can make is small, it is real and important.

25 December 1960