Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, which holds the Proms concerts annually each summer since 1941. It has a capacity of up to 5,272 seats. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation and receives no public or government funding.
Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage and it has become one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. The location of some of the most notable events in British culture, each year it hosts more than 390 shows in the main auditorium, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and banquets. A further 400 events are held each year in the non-auditorium spaces.
The Hall was originally supposed to have been called the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, but the name was changed to the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences by Queen Victoria upon laying the Hall's foundation stone in 1867, in memory of her husband consort, Prince Albert who had died six years earlier. It forms the practical part of a memorial to the Prince Consort – the decorative part is the Albert Memorial directly to the north in Kensington Gardens, now separated from the Hall by Kensington Gore.
The Council of the Royal Albert Hall is ultimately responsible for the charity, its assets and activities.
Originally created in 1866, even before the Hall was opened, the Council of Trustees is the governing body of the Corporation for the Hall of Arts and Sciences (to give the Royal Albert Hall its formal title).
There are up to 18 Elected Members and five Appointed Members, plus an elected President.
The President and the Elected Members are themselves seatholders – this gives them a unique perspective and a personal link to the Hall.
The 5 Appointed Members come from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; and from the Albertopolis institutions with very close links to the Hall.
None of the Trustees receives payment for their services to the Hall. All Trustees are members of at least one Committee, as well as Council. Further information on Council Committees is published every year in our Annual Report and Accounts, the latest version of which can be found here.
The Royal Albert Hall has a number of dining spaces on site, with food and drink provided by “rhubarb”. These are all open two hours prior to main auditorium events.
The restaurants and bars usually open two hours prior to all main auditorium events, and the bars and Verdi - Italian Kitchen remain open during the interval.
As the restaurants tend to be very busy, it is advisable to book in advance. This can be done by calling the Box Office directly or by reserving your table via our Food and Drink pages.
The bars also serve sandwiches and snacks and interval drink orders can be placed at any bar on your arrival at the Hall. Please ask the bar staff for more details.