One of the few operating royal palaces in the world today is Buckingham Palace. It is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in London.
The area of the palace with the garden is about 20 hectares, it has its own police station, two post offices, hospital, swimming pool, bar – in fact, it is a whole city. In the palace itself there are 775 rooms, among them the official study of the Queen.
The palace staff consists of about 700 people.
Originally the palace was built for the Duke of Buckingham, in 1762 it was purchased by King George III, completed and at the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria in 1837 was declared the main residence of British monarchs. But the most spacious and richly decorated room – the ballroom – was not finished until 1853. After that, the interiors of the palace have changed several times, remaining invariably luxurious.
The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognizable ceremonies in the world, and many tourists gather to watch it as the Guards of the Court Division demonstrate their impeccable training and absolute equanimity.
What to see
Not all the inhabitants of this palace were happy, but their lives and habits have always been of interest to tourists. During August and September, when the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace, it becomes accessible to visitors. And there’s a lot to see here! Gorgeous clocks and chandeliers, antique vases, elaborately crafted furniture, one of the world’s best collections of porcelain, magnificent collections of paintings belonging to the British Queen – you can see it all during a tour of the palace.
Of particular interest are the Royal Stables, which have been open all year round since 2011, but are still in operation. The Royal Stables perform the tasks of organizing all the journeys of the queen and members of the royal family.
Royal modes of transport are on display, including a golden coronation carriage and a transparent brides’ carriage, not always, but you can catch royal horses in the stables. Admission is 9 GBP, under 5 years old free.
On your first visit, you can ask for your ticket to be stamped, and then it will be valid for repeat visits for one year.
There is a store in the palace that specializes in selling items from the so-called “Royal Collection”. These items are identical to those used in everyday life at the palace: accessories, towels, kitchen utensils, and various trifles. It doesn’t come cheap, but it could make a wonderful souvenir from London.
Changing of the Guard
The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognizable ceremonies in the world, taking place daily at 11.30 from April to August, and every other day during the rest of the year. Many tourists flock to see the spectacle, as the members of the Guards of the Royal division demonstrate impeccable discipline and absolute equanimity, making it a sight to behold.
The schedule is posted on a large plaque outside the palace. Those wishing to take photographs of the ceremony without disturbance should take a seat outside the palace fence in advance.
Gallery of the Queen
Opening hours: 9:30 – 18:30, admission until 16:15, closed December 25-26.
Admission: 13.50 GBP, students: 10.80 GBP, people over 60: 12.20 GBP, disabled and under 17s: 6.70 GBP, children under 5: free.
Her Majesty’s personal collection: works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyck, Vermeer, as well as Fabergé eggs and a large collection of Leonardo drawings.
Royal Day (Royal Stables and Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace): 39.5 GBP, concessionary (students and over-60s): 36.2 GBP, disabled and under-17s: 22 GBP, under-5s: free, family ticket (2 adults and 3 under-17s): 100 GBP.
The Parade Halls and Buckingham Palace: GBP 18.20, concessionary (students and people over 60): GBP 17, disabled and under 17: GBP 10.30, children under 5: free, family ticket (2 adults and 3 children under 17): GBP 60.
The Parade Halls, Buckingham Palace and Gardens: 23 GBP, concessionary (students and people over 60): 20.70 GBP, disabled and under 17s: 14 GBP, children under 5s: free, family ticket (2 adults and 3 children under 17): 60 GBP.
Prices on the page are as of November 2020.