Prince Regent and his Portico

In England during the first decade of the nineteenth century George, the Prince Regent’s interest in architecture and interior design served as a catalyst for the enthusiasm of his subjects. To promote his innovative ideas in 1811, the Prince  opened his home Carlton House to the public. 30,000 visitors flocked to see it in one day. His preference for a stronger interpretation of classical ornament and form was new. The lighter earlier French style he had employed now came under fire because England was at war with France.  The demolition of Carlton House in 1826-7 constituted one of the greatest losses in English royal and architectural history. It is said the ghost of so much vanished magnificence, still haunts the eastern end of Pall Mall. Among the survivors, the portico of the Prince Regent’s Carlton House now fronts the National Gallery at London.

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