Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen, as well as the administrative headquarters of the Royal Household. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. Today the Buckingham Palace State Rooms are used extensively by Her Majesty The Queen and Members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. During August and September when The Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland, the Palace’s nineteen state rooms are open to visitors.

What there is to see?
The Buckingham Palace State Rooms form the heart of the working palace and are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection – paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin and Canaletto; sculpture by Canova; exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture.

The Garden
Described as a ‘walled oasis in the middle of London’, the Palace’s garden is home to thirty different species of bird and more than 350 different wild flowers, some extremely rare. Visitors end their tour with a walk along the south side of the garden, with splendid views of the west front of the Palace and the famous lake.

Audio Guide
An audio guide is included in the ticket price and is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese, Russian and Mandarin. There is also a family audio guide (in English only) and accompanying activity trail, suitable for children 7-11 years.

Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at 11:30 daily from April until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting. The new guards arrive at the forecourt of the Palace at 11:30 from Wellington Barracks. The journey takes about 5 minutes and the soldiers are accompanied by a band. The ceremony is conducted on the Palace forecourt and takes approximately forty minutes to complete.

[The Army have not yet released the schedule for July, August or September.]

Exhibition – The Corination 1953
This summer marks the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  To celebrate this anniversary, a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace will bring together an unprecedented array of the dress, uniform and robes worn for the historic event.  Paintings, works of art and other objects used on the day will help recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary moment and the pageantry of a State occasion that has remained essentially unchanged for 1,000 years.

The Queen acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey the following year, on 2 June 1953.  Buckingham Palace was at the heart of the celebrations on Coronation Day, which heralded the dawn of a ‘New Elizabethan Era’. Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers lined the Mall and filled the specially constructed stands around the Victoria Monument in front of the Palace. From here they witnessed the carriage processions of Members of the Royal Family, foreign Heads of State and Commonwealth Prime Ministers depart Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey.

For the annual Summer Opening in 2013, the Palace’s Ballroom will be transformed into the centre of the largest-ever exhibition about the Coronation.  Here, the dress, robes and uniforms worn by the principal royal party will be brought together for the first time since 2 June 1953.  The display will include HM The Queen’s Coronation Dress and Robe; the uniform, robe and Coronet of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; the dress and robe of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; the dress and robe of HRH The Princess Margaret; and the outfits worn on the day by two-year-old Princess Anne and four-year-old Prince Charles.  The Prince’s personal invitation to Westminster Abbey will also be on display.

As they tour the State Rooms, visitors will experience a sense of the atmosphere of Coronation Day and learn how individual rooms were used in 1953.  For example, it was in the Green Drawing Room that Cecil Beaton (1904-80) took his famous Coronation portraits of The Queen, using his signature theatrical backdrops to recreate the inside of Westminster Abbey.  Other official portraits were taken in the Throne Room.  The Coronation State Banquets were held on the evenings of 3 and 4 June 1953, and for the Summer Opening of the Palace, the table in the State Dining Room will be dressed to evoke the Banquets’ magnificent settings of porcelain, silver-gilt and flowers.

Wheelchair Access
If you require wheelchair access or the use of the lift, you should not book with 365 Tickets.com and should pre-book tickets directly with Buckingham Palace.
Access booking line: 020 7766 7324 www.royalcollection.org.uk or email specialistsales@royalcollection.org.uk

 

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral, whose dome dominates London’s skyline, is England’s architectural masterpiece and place of national celebration. The cathedral was designed by the famed architect Sir Christopher Wren, after the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed its predecessor. The cathedral took 35 years to build from 1675 – 1710, spanning the lives of five monarchs and was the first cathedral to have been built and completed in its architect’s lifetime.

St Paul’s Cathedral is where people and events of overwhelming national significance have been celebrated, mourned or commemorated. From state funerals for British heroes such as Sir Winston Churchill, to the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, and National Services of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee’s of Her Majesty the Queen.

IPod touch-screen multimedia guides in 11 languages are included for sightseers offering up to 90 minutes of audio commentary, videos and imagery for a self guided tour. Tours led by cathedral guides are also offered, usually starting at 10.00, 11.00, 13.00 & 14.00 and last for 90 minutes; visitors should register to join a tour once inside the cathedral.

Explore the cathedral floor then visit the Whispering Gallery to test the unique acoustics. Climb further to the Stone and Golden Galleries, which afford breathtaking panoramic views across the city.

Descend to the crypt which houses tombs and memorials to famous Britons such as Admiral Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington and Wren himself. Visitors can enjoy the award winning video exhibition located here; ‘Oculus: an eye into St Paul’s’ is a 270° HD film experience that brings the 1400 years of the cathedral’s history to life. The films offer visitors a unique insight into the history of the site and St Paul’s as a vibrant working church.

 

Image Credits:

Image 1:  Photographer: Derry Moore, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 2 : Photographer: Peter Smith, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 3 : Photographer: Andrew Holt, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Image 4: Photographer: Derry Moore, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013

Find out More about The State Rooms – Buckingham Palace + St Pauls Cathedral