Buckingham Palace is The King’s official London residence and an amazing place to visit for a glimpse into monarchy past, present and future.
From the Changing of the Guard, to the Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery, and the State Rooms, there is much more to this iconic palace than may initially meet the eye!
Buckingham Palace State Rooms
Although the State Rooms are now closed to public tours, private tours (in groups limited to 30 people) are available on selected dates in 2023. Visit The Royal Collection Trust to find out more. These tours fill up fast, so if you want to go, book as soon as possible.
There is always something new to see when you visit Buckingham Palace, and each year there is a special exhibition. Most years the tour of the State Rooms includes many rooms you may recognise from pictures you have seen. There’s the Music Room, with its beautiful blue scagliola columns between arched mirrors and doorways, where both HRH Prince Charles and Prince William were Christened, the magnificent Throne Room, and my favourite room, The White Drawing Room. The Queen was said to appear as if by magic at receptions in this room. See if you can spot the hidden door disguised as a mirror and a cabinet through which she entered.
Walking up the Grand Staircase always gives me a thrill. On one memorable occasion, we drank champagne in The Bow Room after a private tour – it was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments!
I have been on three of these tours at Buckingham Palace and two at Windsor Castle in the past and can highly recommend them.
Sign up to the mailing list at The Royal Collection Trust to be informed if/when the palace will have a summer opening next year.
Buckingham Palace Gardens
Buckingham Palace has over 35 acres of gardens, highlights of which can sometimes be seen on a tour available as part of a combination ticket with a visit to The State Rooms. Visit The Royal Collection Trust website to find out if they will open next summer.
Changing of the Guard
The music and sheer spectacle of this traditional ceremony is something both kids and adults will love! Dates for the Changing of the Guard vary throughout the year, so check out the Changing of the Guard website for more information.
The ceremony generally starts at 11.00am sharp on the days it is held, but the crowds build up very early so plan to arrive well before.
Don’t Miss The Royal Mews
Step inside the working Royal world when you visit one of the finest working stables in the world, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. Many of the Palace staff have homes in the Mews; this is also where the horses used in State Ceremonies are stabled. The beautiful state coaches – including The Gold State Coach used for The Queen’s Coronation – are on display here, and you can also see the historic livery worn by The Queen’s Coachmen. In 2023, the Royal Mews are open on select dates between 2nd March and 30th October. Visit The Royal Collection Trust website for more details.
Enjoy The Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery is open on selected dates from 21st April 2023 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). This beautiful gallery showcases the art and treasures held in trust for the nation by The King. Offering changing exhibitions throughout the year. Free audio guides are also available. Again, be sure to check The Royal Collection website for opening times.
Outside Buckingham Palace – The Queen Victoria Memorial
The impressive monument located in front of Buckingham Palace, The Queen Victoria Memorial includes the Canada Gate (bottom left), the Australia Gate and the South and West Africa Gates as well as the Memorial Gardens and a huge central monument (top right). The central monument includes sculptures of Queen Victoria as well as the virtues attributed to her: constancy, courage, victory, charity, truth and motherhood.
Visit The Royal Collection Trust for ticket information and to purchase.
Tickets purchased from the Trust may sometimes be converted to an annual pass on the day of your visit to give you 12 months complimentary admission to the site(s) you have visited, should you wish to return. (Conditions apply. Return visits must be booked in advance.)
Location – Getting There
Buckingham Palace is located at the top of The Mall on Buckingham Palace Road. The closest underground (London’s subway) station is Green Park on the Victoria Line. Walk out of the station, across Green Park and through the Canada Gates to the Palace. Or take the longer walk up The Mall from Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and up to Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery and the entrance to the State Rooms are all located around the corner from Buckingham Palace in Buckingham Palace Road (to the left as you face the Palace).
More Ideas and Tips for Visiting London
Information is correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. Be sure to check with the relevant venues for opening times, their full terms and conditions, and to check prices, availability and payment terms.