Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in London and normally you cannot go inside. The exception comes in the summer when special guided tours become available.
So just what can you see and do in Buckingham Palace while a resident at Presidential Apartments Kensington? Only a small fraction of the 700 rooms are included in the tour – but these are definitely the most spectacular ones. These are the 19 State Rooms, used on ceremonial occasions when The Queen holds State banquets, meets ambassadors and dignitaries or carries out ceremonial functions including giving honours such as medals and knighthoods.
In addition, many of these rooms are used for official photographs. The Throne Room was chosen as the location for the official wedding photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Her stunning white dress stood out against the vivid reds that adorn this room. The Duke and Duchess with their guests were photographed against walls hung with priceless art. It did not show the dramatic ornate canopy hanging over the two Chairs of State placed at the far end of the room. The Queen and Prince Philip used these Chairs during the Coronation Ceremony in Westminister Abbey in 1953.
To reach the Throne room, visitors have to mount the beautiful, winding staircase just like the countless official guests at state occasions. Other rooms to discover include the Ballroom (the biggest room in the Palace and now used partly as a picture gallery) and the White Drawing Room.
Mention of the Picture Gallery gives another clue as to what you will see inside this historic building. The Royal Collection is one of the biggest art collections in the world, containing some of the most prized masterpieces created by the artists like Canaletto, Rembrandt, Titian, Van Dyck and Rubens. Every wall within the State Rooms are adorned with priceless masterpieces by such great artists. And that’s not all – take a look at the ornaments and sculptures on tables and in corridors. Again, these are priceless works of art by some of the greatest sculptors worldwide. Even the tables laid out as if for a State Banquet are adorned with highly prized porcelain.
Once you leave the State Rooms, there is still more to see as you are able to explore one of London’s most exclusive hidden gardens. The gardens of Buckingham Palace are hidden behind tall brick walls, and are an oasis of greenery complete with expansive lawns, trees and lake.
So if you are keen to find out for yourselves just what it is like inside Buckingham Palace – book up early. Only a limited number of tickets are available throughout the summer and they do sell fast. Also, booking any of the aparthotels in Kensington near to it will be more economical as well as convenient.