VISITING BUCKINGHAM PALACE STATE ROOMS

Buckingham Palace is beloved by tourists.  Even when it is not open to the public crowds can be found outside craning for a view of either the Queen or the Changing of the Guard.  Every summer when the Queen heads to Scotland for her own summer holiday, the Buckingham Palace State Rooms are opened up to the public gaze.

Buckingham Palace audio guide

Buckingham Palace State Rooms review

State Rooms are intended to dazzle and dazzle Buckingham Palace certainly does.  It all begins with plush red and low level gilding and then you find yourself at the base of a white and gold staircase that seems to head upwards into infinity whilst branching off into ever more extravagant interiors.

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace prepared for a State Banquet Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace prepared for a State Banquet
Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

Stately homes are often in a state of semi-shaded gloom, as blinds are kept lowered and windows shut to control climate and help preserve the fixtures and fittings.  Buckingham Palace is a busy workplace and here the windows are not only not shaded but, on the day of our visit, wide open to let a welcome breeze in.  The junior CW’s were especially taken with a secret door in the White Drawing Room, it leads to the private apartments.  It is concealed behind the mirror on the left hand side of picture, we liked to think of the Queen lurking there and pouncing out to surprise her visitors.

The White Drawing Room Buckingham Palace © 2002, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Photo: Derry Moore
The White Drawing Room
© 2002, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Every year Buckingham Palace has a different special exhibition in the State Rooms.  2019 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  Queen Victoria was the first to use Buckingham Palace the the headquarters of the Royal Family and created the Palace as we know it today.  I especially liked the costume which the Queen wore for the Stuart Ball, which shows just how very tiny she was. 

Check out my post about Queen Victoria's London if you would like to find out more about Victoria and Albert changed London.
Queen Victoria's costume for the Stuart Ball.
Queen Victoria’s costume for the Stuart Ball
Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Families welcome at Buckingham Palace

Families are welcome at Buckingham Palace, there is a special multimedia tour designed for children under 12.  Alice the footman and Rex the corgi take you on a tour of the Palace and there are games to play whilst you explore.  At the end of tour there is a family pavilion with all sorts of playing and photo opportunities. For grown ups and children there is a garden pavilion housing a tea room with rather splendid cakes and views across the Buckingham Palace lawns.

Buckingham Palace Garden tea room

Exiting Buckingham Palace is not only via the gift shop (yes I do have a Buckingham Palace wooden spoon) but via the gardens as well which gives the opportunity to see the back of the Palace and to take photos.

Buckingham Palace garden view

Have you visited Buckingham Palace?  What did you think?

Buckingham Palace State Rooms Tickets

  • 20 July 2019 – 29 September 2019
  • Open: Daily 9.30am – 6.30pm
  • Admission: Adult £25, Family £64 concessions available
  • Have your ticket stamped on your way out to make it an annual pass
  • Combinations of tickets to visit the Royal Mews and Queen’s Gallery are available
  • Make sure you book, details available here
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7 Comments

  1. September 9, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    I just did this tour a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I couldn’t believe how many rooms the tour took you through – and still functioning rooms at that!

  2. September 11, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Quite pricey but it sounds like you get a lot for your money. It’s great that they’ve provided tea-rooms. I’d like to visit, you’ve tempted me with the idea of tea on the lawn.

    • September 11, 2015 / 12:38 pm

      Pricey but you can visit again if the fact takes you!

  3. September 12, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    We’ve done the Buckingham Palace tour and it was amazing, we really enjoyed it. Thank you for reminding me of a lovely day. #weekendblogshare

  4. August 2, 2018 / 1:21 pm

    We did the tour many years ago when it first began – it’s an amazing place with such a special collection of paintings from all the great artists.

    We also had the privilege of going to a Royal Garden Party (I was nominated by DfE for services to education) in 2013. It was a beautiful day and the gardens were lovely – we were free to wander round them and it was really peaceful considering we were in the middle of London. Military brass bands played and there were lots of Olympic athletes from 2012 there plus the usual celebrities and VIPS. Such an incredible experience; we were about 6 feet away from the Queen and Prince Philips when they did their walkabout. The tiny squares of chocolate cake with a little crown on top were delicious!

    • Catherine
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      How fantastic to be honoured with a garden party invite, those cakes are special!

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