One of London’s most iconic landmarks opens to public visits for a few weeks this summer. Buckingham Palace, the official home of HM The Queen, is one of the most iconic and photographed buildings in London.
Tickets for the guided tours are eagerly sought after, and you do need to book early. Only limited numbers are available each day, allowing plenty of time for visitors to appreciate the art and architecture, or to roam the stunning gardens. So, if you are staying in Best Western Palm Hotel and looking to head to the Palace, here is what you can see on these tours.
Each tour covers 19 State Rooms. These are rooms used by HM the Queen when entertaining dignitaries and ambassadors at receptions and dinners, as well as ceremonial events like the granting of honors such as knighthoods and OBE’s. Many of these rooms will be very familiar sights as they have appeared in countless official photographs over the years.
The Throne Room for example is where the famous wedding photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was taken. This is quite a spectacular room, very spacious and decorated in brilliant reds complete with an ornate canopy over the two thrones that stand at one end of the room. These thrones are known as the Chairs of Estate and were used by the Queen and Prince Philip during the Coronation service in 1953.
Other rooms to be seen include the Grand staircase, the Ballroom and the White Drawing Room.
All the State Rooms contain superb art, sculptures and antique furniture of the highest quality. These items come from the Royal Collection, one of the greatest art collections in the world. As a result, visiting the State Rooms offers an unrivalled opportunity to see works of art that are not normally in public view. These include paintings by Canaletto, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens as well as French and British antique furniture. Tables are laden with exquisite porcelain, laid out as if for one of the many State Banquets held here throughout the year.
After the tour, you can roam through the beautiful gardens to be found at the back of Buckingham Palace. Surrounded by high walls from the surrounding busy streets, they are an oasis of greenery with flower beds, wild flower meadows, lawns and water features. There is even a small lake.
For those who want to discover a little more, you can visit the adjacent Royal Mews. This is an amazing place where you can see some of the most historic carriages in the world, many of which are still used today. It was a landau from this collection which carried Prince Harry and his new bride through the streets of Windsor. The Gold State Coach is only rarely used – it is said to be very, very uncomfortable but is definitely dramatic and was used by the Queen at her coronation.
If you’ve booked a few days in the capital, make sure to pick a well located hotel, like Palm Hotel London which is also one of the best party venues in North West London and get 4-star hotel facilities at reasonable prices.