The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace
The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace
City in Focus

Tomorrow, the Queen welcomes the general public to the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace. The State Rooms and Royal Gardens will be open for all to see until September 27th, 2015. It’s an in depth look at how all the ingredients of a State Visit are put together.

The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace set up for a State Banquet. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
The Ballroom at Buckingham Palace set up for a State Banquet.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

There’s a first time for everything; now visitors to the Summer Opening enter the State Rooms through the Grand Entrance. Normally used by those who come to the Palace at the invitation of The Queen, including Heads of State and Prime Ministers. The Palace Ballroom has been transformed for a State Banquet with glittering silver-gilt from George IV’s Grand Service.

Centrepiece in use during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
Centrepiece in use during a State Banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

 

The Australian State Coach, used to carry the Duke of Edinburgh and Senora Rivera, wife of the President of the United Mexican States, in the arrival procession of the State Visit in March 2015. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
The Australian State Coach, used to carry the Duke of Edinburgh and Senora Rivera, wife of the President of the United Mexican States, in the arrival procession of the State Visit in March 2015.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

 

Salt cellar acquired by George I, circa 1721 and placed in front of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at a State Banquet.  It contains two compartments - one for salt, the other mustard. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
Salt cellar acquired by George I, circa 1721 and placed in front of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at a State Banquet. It contains two compartments – one for salt, the other mustard.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

 

Candelabra, part of The Grand Service used at State Banquets at Buckingham Palace. Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
Candelabra, part of The Grand Service used at State Banquets at Buckingham Palace.
Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace spiked my interest in all things Royal. It was a good time to become a tourist, on a lovely summer’s day and head down to Buckingham Palace, to have a look around. Starting at the Horse Guards Headquarters, I watched as people hesitantly approached the horses to pose for a picture; perhaps it was the bold sign saying “BEWARE HORSES MAY KICK OR BITE! THANK YOU”.

Tourists gather and pose for pictures with Horse Guards mounted soldiers
Tourists gather and pose for pictures with Horse Guards mounted soldiers.

 

Horse Guards mounted soldier
Horse Guards mounted soldier.

 

The Horse Guards Headquarters
The Horse Guards Headquarters

From the Headquarters, you can walk straight through to St James’s Park, full of people lounging in the sun on deckchairs. This leafy stroll leads all the way up to busy Buckingham Palace, where tourists were out in force taking group shots and pictures with selfie-sticks. The Queen’s Guard were sternly guarding the gates in their famously fluffy bearskin hats.

Selfie-sticks at Buckingham Palace
Tourists taking pictures with selfie-sticks at Buckingham Palace.

 

Group shots of tourists at Buckingham Palace.
Group shots of tourists at Buckingham Palace.

 

The Queen's Guards were sternly guarding the gates in their famously fluffy bearskin hats.
The Queen’s Guard on sentry duty.

 

The Queen's Guards were sternly guarding the gates in their famously fluffy bearskin hats.
The Queen’s Guard were sternly guarding the gates in their famously fluffy bearskin hats.

I missed the changing of the guard as the time was highlighted at 11.30am. Maybe next time.

Changing of the Guard timetable
Changing of the Guard timetable

Buckingham Palace is the working headquarters of the monarchy, where The Queen carries out her official and ceremonial duties as Head of State of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth. It is one of the few remaining working royal palaces in the world today.

The Queen receives a large number of formal and informal visitors to the Palace, including the Prime Minister at weekly audiences. Every year around 500,000 people visit Buckingham Palace during August and September.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times. Have you had a different experience visiting this region? Share it with us in the comments section!

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