Best Guide to Visiting the Buckingham Palace State Rooms 2024

Tickets are now on sale for visiting the Buckingham Palace State Rooms 2024.

Welcome to the regal world of Buckingham Palace! Visiting the Buckingham Palace State Rooms is to step into realm of royal opulence. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the grandeur of the State Rooms, adorned with timeless artworks, exquisite furnishings, and ornate decorations. From the resplendent Ballroom to the majestic Throne Room, each space holds secrets and stories that have witnessed significant moments in British history.

Diamond Jubilee State Coach at Buckingham Palace

Visiting Buckingham Palace State Rooms

State Rooms are intended to dazzle and dazzle Buckingham Palace certainly does.  You start your visit a portico designed for coaches. Awaiting you will be the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. If want to see the rather more spectacular Gold Coronation Coach then you will need to visit the Royal Mews. Now the glitz 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. Nineteen rooms await you. Here is a selection of the most spectacular.

Throne Room

Stars of the show in the Throne room are, unsurprisingly, the thrones.  Upholstered in red, one with the Queen’s monogram and the other with Prince Philip’s, these are the chairs of estate used during the coronation.  They stand on a small stage, complete with an arch to make it feel like a theatre.  The throne room is also used for Royal Wedding photos.

The Royal Collection of painting is one of the greatest in the world and the very best of that collection is displayed in the Picture Gallery.  Van Dyck, Canaletto, Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer … they’re all here.  I could spend hours in just in the picture gallery.

Ballroom

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

Buckingham Palace’s ball room is huge.  It is not only used for balls but also doubles as a concert hall and venue for grand state banquets.  It even has its own organ. 

Music Room

Keen fans of the Royal family will be familiar with the music room, it is here that Royal christenings are often held.  It is a beautiful room with a vast curving bay that makes if feel very airy.  When you get your invitation to a dinner or a banquet at Buckingham Palace you will gather in the Green Drawing Room before progressing into the Music room to be presented before heading off into the Ballroom.  Make sure you look down the floor is incredible, it is parquet made up of many different types of wood.

White Drawing Room

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

This is my favourite room of all the state rooms in Buckingham Palace.  It is here that the Royal family gather before big formal events, once all present they head next door to the Music room to meet their guests.  Take a close look at the left hand mirror, it conceals a secret door that leads to the Queen’s private apartments.   

King Charles and Queen Camilla Coronation outfits special display 2023

Every year there is a different special display, until details of the 2024 display are released here is information about 2023

The Coronation outfits worn by King Charles and Queen Camilla are on show in the Buckingham House Ballroom during the summer 2023 opening. A ceremony with many outfit changes, at the centre of the exhibition will be the clothes worn by the Their Majesties as they travelled in the Gold State Coach from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace and then to appear on the balcony.

His Majesty’s Robe of Estate, made by Ede and Ravenscroft, was also worn by his grandfather King George VI for his 1937 Coronation. Made especially for this coronation is the cream silk overskirt featuring embroidered oak leaves and acorns made by Turnbull and Asser. Also new is the Purple Coronation Tunic trimmed with gold artillery lace. Not new and worn often by King Charles are the King’s Royal Naval Trousers part of his full ceremonial Royal Navy uniform.

Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s outfit consists of brand new Robe of Estate created by Eye and Ravenscroft and embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework using gold work. The Coronation Dress, designed by Bruce Oldfield, is strewn with gold and silver embroidery featuring flowers, bunting and the Queen’s rescue Jack Russells.

Also on display are some of the vestments worn by His Majesty at the moment of crowning including the Coronation Glove and Girdle. New for the occasion was the Stole Royal, presented to the King by the Prince of Wales and worn for crowning.

Buckingham Palace East Wing Tours

Centre Room East Wing Buckingham Palace
Royal Collection Trust © King Charles III 2024 Photographer Peter Smith
Centre Room, East Wing Buckingham Palace
Royal Collection Trust © King Charles III 2024, Photographer Peter Smith

Exciting news for 2024 the Buckingham Palace East Wing, that’s the rooms behind the famous balcony, are open for the first time. You will be to visit only in small groups and tickets need to be booked along with a State Rooms ticket. Adults only. The rooms should be spectacular emerging after five years of what the Palace calls reservicing (I think that means redecorating in mere mortal terms).

Buckingham Palace Gardens

Pond surrounded by trees in leaf gardens of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace Gardens

At the end of your tour of the State Rooms you get to see the Buckingham Palace gardens.  You can sit in a delightful pavilion and look at the lawns.  On your way out you walk around the edge of lawns, past ponds and through woods.  You get great views of the Palace as you look back.  Wandering at will around the flower beds is not on the cards.  

Refreshments at Buckingham Palace

View of Buckingham Palace gardens with an urn in the foreground taken from the tea room
View from the Buckingham Palace tea room

As you leave the State Rooms the terrace at the back of Buckingham Palace is given over to a huge tea tent. The cakes are always excellent, new for 2023 is a honey cake.  My only disappointment with the tea tent is that it uses paper cups and plates not china, but you can’t have everything. 

Buckingham Palace Shop

Regular readers will know that I am a great devotee of the museum shop.  Buckingham Palace has by far and away the best shop of all.  Soft toy corgis, Buckingham Palace wooden spoons, jewellery, honey from the Queen’s bees and beautiful soaps.  I have the wooden spoon and use it every day.

Buckingham Palace State Rooms Review

Buckingham Palace Family Activity Room

When you arrive at Buckingham Palace you will need to go through airport style security.  Small bags only are allowed in the Palace, you can check in large bags.  Once through security you are handed an audio guide, which plays in nine different languages and has two versions, grown up or family.  No food or drink is allowed inside the Palace nor are cameras.  The rooms are absolutely spectacular and the exhibitions always well thought out.  At the end you will find a large tea tent and a room devoted to family activities.   

Buckingham Palace Winter and Spring Guided Tours

If you are visiting London in the winter or spring don’t despair you can still visit the Buckingham Palace State Rooms. It is just a little trickier and costs a bit more. Guided tours are available most weekends. There is even a special family version. You will be in a small group so you will be able to experience the Palace without the crowds. Tickets for tours cannot be converted into annual tickets and tours last about an hour. The shop and the tearoom are summer only fixtures, but there is an excellent Palace shop open all year round just opposite the Palace.

Buckingham Palace State Rooms Tickets

  • Buckingham Palace State Rooms open 11 July – 29 September 2024
  • Admission: Adult £33 in advance, £35 on the day
  • Have your ticket stamped on the way out to make it an annual pass
  • Winter State Rooms Guided Tour £95
  • Winter Buckingham Palace Family Guided Tour £60
  • East Wing Tour: £75 (includes State Rooms)
  • Booking is advisable
  • Allow 2 hours for your visit to the State Rooms
Visiting Buckingham Palace State Rooms

Gothic Romance: Inside Strawberry Hill House

Gothic Romance: Inside Strawberry Hill House View Post

WHAT IS THAT? THAT MY FRIEND IS THE …

WHAT IS THAT?  THAT MY FRIEND IS THE CHRISTO LONDON MASTABA View Post

Emery Walker’s House – an Arts and Crafts …

Emery Walker’s House – an Arts and Crafts treasure house View Post

Visiting the Temple Church London

Visiting the Temple Church London View Post

MILLICENT FAWCETT STATUE in PARLIAMENT SQUARE

MILLICENT FAWCETT STATUE in PARLIAMENT SQUARE View Post

Fourth Plinth Trafalgar Square Sculpture

Fourth Plinth Trafalgar Square Sculpture View Post

Substack sign up