Go Beyond the Gates
If the monarchy and royal pageantry are your thing then you won’t want to miss out on the elusive 2 months of the year when Queen Elizabeth opens up her lavish home, Buckingham Palace, for all to visit.
Year round the public are free to admire Buckingham Palace from a safe distance, however, from July 22nd to October 1st, Her Royal Majesty opens the gates allowing people to get a rare glimpse of the palace’s interior. Experience the palace inner courtyard, the ballroom and several lavish state rooms as well as the grandest of all the State Rooms, The White Drawing Room. Guests are welcome to explore the rooms at leisure with a multimedia personal guide taking in the extensive décor, priceless art and sculptures. From portraits and crystal chandeliers to gilded ornaments and secret passages, the enormity of the Queen's collection is truly staggering, not to mention the centuries of history you’ll find packed away under just one roof.
You’ll also get the chance to see the Royal Gifts exhibition throughout your tour as well as a special display in the Music Room of personal items chosen by Princes William and Harry as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.
After you’ve absorbed everything there is to see in the Palace, you can make your way to the beautiful palace gardens where you’ll have plenty of time to relax and soak up the atmosphere and to visit the prestigious Buckingham Palace Shop, the home of official royal gifts.
Experience the Pomp and Ceremony
Witness the statuesque Royal Guards with their red uniforms, bearskin hats and iron cast expressions. The Queen's Guards are almost as ionic as Buckingham Palace itself, but don’t to be mistaken these guards are not ornamental or purely ceremonial. In fact they are fully active soldiers tasked with protecting the British Sovereign and the Royal Residences. The Changing of the Guard Ceremony is a long-standing tradition that attracts curious audiences from all over the world. The ceremony usually lasts around 45 minutes and as with most royal traditions the pomp and ceremony makes for quite the experience hence the large crowds each day that come to witness it. During the Ceremony, you’ll be fascinated with the parade of Guards, the carefully choreographed military marching and the epic military band. The Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place at 11.30am every day in the summer months and every second day throughout the rest of the year (Weather Permitting).
During the Summer months Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard attract thousands of tourists from all corners of the globe, all of whom want the best views and most engaging tours. If you are planning an excursion to the Royal Residences be prepared to stomach the throngs of likeminded tourists. Or you can book a City Wonders tour like the Buckingham Palace tour with English tea that will guarantee the best spot at the Changing of the Guard Ceremony before our local guide shows you around Her Majesties humble abode.
All images courtsey of
Derry Moore - Royal Collection Trust, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017