27 July – 1 October, 2010
For only a few weeks each summer, when the Queen sets off for Scotland, Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public for a rare glimpse into life inside the nineteen State Rooms. If you’re in London during the opening period from 27 July to 1 October, join the queues and crowds, don the goofy audio guide headphones and try to pretend you don’t secretly hope to spot a royal while you’re on the inside.
Each year a special exhibit regarding the facets of royal life accompanies the tour. The 2010 theme is The Queen’s Year featuring the pageantry and tradition of prominent national & ceremonial events during the royal calendar year. Lavish gifts, robes, gowns, hats, jewelry, drums, photos and film of the sovereign’s role in functions ranging from garden parties to the State Opening of Parliament will all be on display.
The end of the tour pops visitors out into the palace’s gorgeous private gardens overlooking a lake only accessible with the State Rooms ticket.
- Booking ahead is highly advisable for time entry ticket yet still requires some waiting awaiting
- Combination tickets are also available to include The Queen’s Gallery and/or The Royal Mews, just tour the palace last or you’re in for a long walk
- Currently the 45 minute Changing of the Guard ceremony is held daily at 11:30
- Allow 2 1/2 hours for the State Rooms
[Image: seattle maddog via flickr]