Inside the Foreign Office: Dubar Court
Durbar Court is the creation of the architect, Matthew Digby Wyatt. It was constructed in 1866 and assumed its current name in 1902 when some of the Coronation celebrations of King Edward VII were held there. Durbar Court did not have a roof initially, the glazed cast iron roof was added in 1868 and typified Wyatt’s design.
6 months before the second World War Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud enacted the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet during a reception for the French president, attended by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
During the second World War the atrium fell into disrepair, the Communications department shared the court with pigeons in abysmal conditions. Finally refurbishments began in 1984 and Wyatt’s original design was restored three years later. These days, Durbar Court stages various events, exhibitions, receptions. The pavement is of Greek, Sicilian and Belgian marble.