Buckingham Palace has opened for summer

By | Category: Travel news
This is as far as most people get in seeing Buckingham Palace

This is as close as most people get in seeing Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of the most well-known buildings in the world so it comes as no surprise to anyone that, when it opens for visitors to see, tickets are hotly contested. Overseas visitors in particular are anxious that their tour operators and travel agents have tickets available so what is that it draws people to the palace?

The first reason, undoubtedly, is to see how the Queen lives. Except you don’t see private rooms only the public ones that can be viewed on television and which hold dinners, investitures and where meetings are held.

The second reason is to view the Royal Collection, one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. Kings and queens have been avid collectors and, have the money to pursue their hobbies, have built substantial collections in different areas. The Queen’s grandfather, George V, had built an envious stamp collection. Her grandmother, Queen Mary collected all sorts of items including Faberge, jade and jewellery. Both the Queen and her mother involved themselves in collected modern British art so that the Royal Collection is an evolving collection not one that is complete.

And that is the third reason that people visit. To see what has been brought out for visitors to see this year. The first item you will probably see will be the Australian State Coach which will be inside the palace grounds at the visitor’s entrance.

In the state rooms this year, you will be able to see how the settings for the 3 garden parties per year, 25 investitures all umpteen and private audiences are planned and prepared. At these events some 62,000 people attend so organisation is crucial. Those state rooms will be entered via the Grand Entrance which is generally only used for state occasions and which have never been available to the public before.

In addition, the Palace’s ballroom will be set up for a state banquet and the table dressed with silver-gilt centrepieces and candelabra from the magnificent Grand Service in the Royal Collection. The detailed preparations required to create such a spectacle, including the placing of 2,000 pieces of cutlery for 170 place settings, have been captured in specially commissioned time-lapse film which gives you an idea of how long it takes to lay that table for all the guests!

This year, the summer opening began last week and will last until almost the end of September.

For admission times and prices, click here.

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