Designer slams Buckingham Palace as 'run-down country house hotel' after failing to impress Prince Philip

Changing Rooms star Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has offered to redecorate Buckingham Palace after his disastrous first job on the property

Buckingham Palace slammed as 'run-down' by British designer
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Buckingham Palace has been described as a 'run-down country house hotel' by a British interior designer who once disappointed Prince Philip with his work on the property. 

An English interior designer has offered to revamp Buckingham Palace several years after he first worked on it, after being left dismayed by the historic building's 'run-down' interior. 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, best known for presenting BBC's Changing Rooms, once brought a group of international wallpaper designers around the Queen's most famous residence—only for them to react in horror at the 775-room mansion's dilapidated condition. 

Speaking to the Times, the 57-year-old recalled how "bits" of Buckingham Palace "feel like a run-down country house hotel" and "not one of the good ones." 

Buckingham Palace releases its diversity statistics for the first time

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He added that his cohort of wallpaper connoisseurs was particularly unimpressed, with one even admitting that they wouldn't let their own staff sleep there. 

"I'd quite like to do [decorate] Buckingham Palace if they trusted me to really give it some welly," he said. 

Unfortunately for Laurence, this high-profile assignment looks fairly unlikely. The award-winning designer has seemingly blacklisted himself from Buckingham Palace's list of approved decorators, after failing to wow a senior member of the Royal Family with his first—and only—job on the property. 

Buckingham Palace bedroom

Bedroom in Buckingham Palace

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"I did some flooring, years and years ago, before I was famous, and Prince Philip hated it," he told the Daily Mail. "So I just say, ‘You probably don’t know this, but years ago, I designed these floors.’ And he looked down and went, ‘Hmm, never liked them.’ That sort of killed the conversation, really." 

Prince Phillip

Prince Philip 'hated' Laurence's floor design at Buckingham Palace

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Laurence's handiwork might not have been to the Duke of Edinburgh's taste, but it looks like it didn't go unappreciated by the woman-of-the-house. 

The House Rules star insists the Queen is extremely fond of him, even cheekily remarking that she 'fiercely fancies' him in a 2018 interview. He also claimed that the 95-year-old monarch is a big fan of his long-running TV show, Changing Rooms. 

Buckingham Palace

Dining room in Buckingham Palace

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The Queen left Buckingham Palace for good last month to permanently move into Windsor Castle, the Berkshire residence she shared with the late Prince Philip throughout the pandemic. It's been widely reported that she has never been particularly keen on the London landmark, due to its unhomely vibe and urban location. The building is currently undergoing a massive renovation, which is expected to be completed in 2027. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.