Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace
Every tourist to London will probably see Buckingham Palace at some point, whether just to get a glimpse of the exterior, watch the changing of the guard or visit the state rooms inside the Palace. John Nash converted the original Buckingham House into a palace for George IV but he died before work was complete so Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live at the Palace. The Palace is currently home to Queen Elizabeth II and her family.

During the summer months when the Queen is hanging out in Scotland, it is possible to visit the state rooms at Buckingham Palace. I debated over whether I wanted to go see them or not as the price was a bit high, L12.95, if booked in advance online it was L13.95. But I did and I'm glad I decided to.

Buckingham Palace is a functioning Palace, events are still held here-state dinners, knighting ceremonies, etc. and the tour takes you through some of those rooms. The tour is by timed ticket, after you pick up your tickets at the ticket booth in Hyde Park, you queue up on the left side of the Palace as you are facing it. Once inside, they give you an audio guide so you can travel at your own pace through the Palace.

The interior is really quite spectacular, with bold blues and reds, crystal chandeliers, ornate decoration. You see where the Queen holds state dinners for visiting dignataries and the room where she knights folks like Elton John, Ben Kingsley and Paul McCartney. After the tour of the interior, the tour finishes through the "backyard" of the Palace and of course the Royal Giftshop.

It seemed as if people were still able to get tickets if they waited until London to buy them but if you only have a couple of days and time is tight, you may want to reserve in advance. No photos are allowed inside the palace so the only pictures I could get were of the Queen's backyard.




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