See inside Buckingham Palace
There’s no denying the thrill of walking up The Mall as Buckingham Palace emerges ahead of you, or watching the centuries-old Changing the Guard ceremony take place on the other side of the palace gate. If only that pesky gate wasn’t locked all the time.
This month, the doors to the palace are within reach, as its State Rooms reopen (from 21st July 2018). This annual tradition began in 1993 to raise funds for the repair of Windsor Castle, which had been damaged by a large fire. The original plan was for Buckingham Palace to open to the public every summer until 1997, but it proved so popular that it is now one of London’s top tourist attractions.
The State Rooms represent the most public areas of the Queen’s home, where the royal family welcome and entertain visitors. As such, the 19 rooms on show don’t uncover the most private moments of Her Majesty’s life, but they do reveal her most majestic. A highlight is the Ballroom, the largest State Room and one that boasts a soaring ceiling decorated with chandeliers. Below, you’ll walk upon regal, deep-red carpets and see the horseshoe-shaped dinner table, set as it would be for a State banquet.
To celebrate the 70th birthday of Prince Charles, the accompanying Prince and Patron exhibition is displaying his favourite pieces from the Royal Collection, such as a silk and silver-thread cloak, taken from Napoleon after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. These artworks will be displayed alongside pieces by young artists, each of whom has benefited from the Prince’s charities.
The tour ends with a glimpse of the garden, which covers 160,000sqm and includes a three-acre lake, a tennis court and a café. As tickets sell quickly, we recommend you book ahead.
Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA
21 July -31 August 2018: Daily 9.30am-7pm
1 - 30 September 2018: Daily 9.30am-6pm
T: 030 3123 7302 | www.royalcollection.org.uk
Follow our day-long itinerary to have a truly royal day in London