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Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

  • Things to do, Walks and tours
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The Palace Gates
Andrew Holt/Royal Collection Trust

Time Out says

Poke around Buckingham Palace while the royal family are on their hols.

This review is from 2017

Every summer London’s most famous house opens for tours with an accompanying exhibition. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms, but only 19 of them, the State Rooms, are open to the public. These are the grand spaces, where the Queen hosts receptions and entertains guests. You won’t bump into any royals ­–  the palace opens for ten weeks only, when the Queen is away – but you will get to wander around the Throne Room and ogle the Ballroom’s glittery chandeliers.

Visitors in 2017 will see the new Royal Gifts exhibition, an extensive look at the presents the Queen has been given during her 65-year reign. Highlights include a Union Flag worn by Tim Peake during his spacewalk last year, a fossilised dinosaur bone, an honorary Bafta, an enamel TfL roundel for Buckingham Palace, a gold casket from Prince Rainier of Monaco, a sperm whale tooth necklace from Fiji and a silk prayer shawl blessed by the Dalai Lama.

This summer, Buckingham Palace is also home to a Princess Diana tribute. To mark the twentieth anniversary of her death on August 31, 1997, her sons the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have selected personal possessions, from her writing desk to her cassette tape collection, to go on public display in the palace’s Music Room.

A visit to the State Rooms usually takes up to two and a half hours. Be prepared for airport-style security and don’t expect to get away with taking any selfies; cameras are banned inside the State Rooms. Food and drink is a no-no, too, but there is a café, so you’ll be able to tell people you’ve taken tea at Buckingham Palace. Ellie Walker-Arnott

Find out more about Buckingham Palace with our ultimate guide to the Queen's London residence. 


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