Standing in the heart of London, Apsley House is the former home of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, victor of Waterloo. Designed and built by Robert Adam in the 1770s, the house was bought by the duke in 1817.
This beautiful Georgian building was the London home of the first Duke of Wellington and has changed very little since his great victory at Waterloo in 1815. It has one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens, as well as a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain.
The group was honoured to be welcomed to Apsley House by the current ninth Duke of Wellington, Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley OBE, DL.
Our tour guide for the occasion was Chris Small and our first port of call was Antonio Canova's heroic marble nude of Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker, holding a gilded Nike in the palm of his right hand, and standing 3.45 metres to the raised left hand holding a staff, which stands in the Adams stairwell.
Onwards the group went to the magnificent state rooms and the stunning collection of art work and Portuguese silver gilt dinner service which adorned the dining table, used to celebrate the annual Waterloo Banquet. Our guide Chris regaled us with a history of all the artwork and some amusing asides along the way.
After the tour the party headed to the Royal Air Force Club for an enjoyable lunch and a chance to catch up with friends old and new.