London’s Buckingham Palace throws open its doors to the public each year for two months. Visitors get to take a rare peek inside one of the world’s few remaining working Royal Palaces. And, this year, there’s a new exhibit of The Queen’s Year, which documents the numerous state occasions Her Majesty attends throughout the seasons.
We asked a few visitors to Buckingham Palace what they thought of the experience.
Buckingham Palace is something everyone should do at least once. I liked the enormous chandeliers best of all. They have a lovely café in the garden – it’s so nice to say that I had tea at Buckingham Palace! Jess, 29, Herne Hill
It’s funny, I always like seeing palaces and stately homes when I travel, but I’d never really thought about visiting one in my own town! I loved the opulence and the fact that all the visitors had frocked up specially, just in case Her Maj caught a passing glance. The Sevres porcelain on display was stunning but my favourite bit was imagining the Royal family sitting around on the yellow-silk sofas in the White Drawing Room watching TV (well, maybe they do?!) and picturing the BFG in the garden. Brad, 46, Seven Sisters
I am so happy to have seen our Queen’s home. It was fascinating to hear about the Royal events that have taken place over the years and how it is one of a handful of working palaces. I am humbled by the number of events attended by the Queen after seeing the special The Queen’s Year exhibition in Buckingham Palace. I bought some of the royal chocolate from the gift shop as presents for my grandchildren. Shirley, 62, Forest Gate
As a first time palace-goer, I felt really fortunate to be able to snoop around the Queen’s house. Even though it’s a fairly compact tour, being able to see the rooms and garden is really special. Steeped in so much history and ceremony the rooms I found the most interesting were the art gallery – who knew the Queen had a Rubens in her house? And also this year’s exhibition which had some wonderful little artefacts and mementos from her trips and appointments around the world. The highlight for me was the grand staircase, which was truly breathtaking (so much gold)! In my mind, I was in a full ball gown, being announced as I entered the room with a handsome Prince at my side. Jo, 27, Battersea
It was good to see inside Buckingham Palace – somewhere I’ve only seen from afar until now. Using the audio guide, you can whip round in an hour, or press for extra information if there are bits you want to know more about. The gardens were impressive – we didn’t get to go very far into them, but you can walk around the edge on your way out. Sophie, 22, Tooting
As the home of royalty, Buckingham Palace is a must-do for anyone visiting London! It’s all very splendid and grandiose on a large scale with amazing art collection from Rembrandt and at least one uber-rare Vermeer. Go and see the home of Royalty, you’d be silly not to. Angela, 38, Highgate