When you set foot inside Buckingham Palace, it's just like stepping into a fairy tale. There are grand staircases, crystal chandeliers and ornate furnishings. It may be one of the most famous palaces in the world, but for the British public it is a focal point where they can share in the royal family’s sorrow and happiness.
When Princess Diana passed away, the entrance was covered in a sea of flowers; and when Prince William wed Kate Middleton, the crowds below the balcony cheered as they kissed. It’s not often you can visit, but with the Exclusive Guided Tours of the State Rooms, you can get a rare glimpse into what life is like for a royal.
During the tour, which lasts for two and a half hours, you visit 19 rooms. There is the Throne Room, which is where William and Kate had their wedding photos taken; and a world-class art collection, which includes Van Dyck and Canaletto. You don’t just look at the finer things in life, but also taste them: the visit includes a glass of champagne.
The palace is steeped in history. It was less than 200 years ago that it became what we recognise today. Architect John Nash remodelled the townhouse into a palace, and Edward Blore created the front façade.
Since 1837, when Queen Victoria moved in, it has been the official residence and workplace for the British monarch. The palace has been visited by Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and James Bond, in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
If you’re planning your trip to London for the summer, then don’t miss the regular opening of the State Rooms, where you can see all the private rooms at your own pace, plus a special exhibition. And of course the Changing the Guard takes place on alternative days, at 11 am. Go on, enjoy a taste of royalty.
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