Next week marks the inaugural public opening of the room behind Buckingham Palace's iconic balcony, offering an exclusive peek into one of the royal residence's most private quarters.

For years, this room has been the backdrop for significant royal events, from Winston Churchill's appearance with the royal family in 1945 to the wedding of King Charles III and Princess Diana in 1981. Despite the balcony's frequent appearances in historical images, the room itself has remained largely unseen.

Most recently, Charles appeared on the balcony after his birthday parade, accompanied by Catherine, Princess of Wales, whose attendance sparked significant interest due to her recent announcement of undergoing cancer treatment. Visitors will now have the opportunity to view this room as part of a tour of the palace's east wing, which is being opened to the public for the first time in approximately 175 years.

The east wing, constructed between 1847 and 1849 to accommodate Queen Victoria's expanding family, was Prince Albert's initiative, designed to foster a connection between the royal family and the public. Caroline de Guitaut, the surveyor of the king's works of art, noted that the balcony continues to serve this purpose on special occasions.

The wing's design reflects King George IV's fondness for Chinese-themed art, and the tour will include the palace's state rooms, which have been accessible to the public since 1993. Highlights of the east wing tour include the principal corridor, the yellow drawing room, and the center room behind the balcony.

The yellow drawing room boasts a Chinese-style fireplace from George IV's Brighton Pavilion, along with remnants of the pavilion's wallpaper. The corridor is adorned with chairs, side tables, pagodas, and Chinese porcelain, including a Buddha-shaped incense burner. The room behind the balcony features a recently restored lotus-shaped glass chandelier and two 18th-century Chinese imperial silk wall hangings, gifts from the Chinese emperor Guangxu to Queen Victoria for her Diamond Jubilee.

While visitors will enjoy views of the Mall, they will not be permitted to step onto the balcony. However, they will have the chance to see a new portrait of the king by Jonathan Yeo, rendered predominantly in red.