Although the tour buses don't go in front of Buckingham Palace, the taxicabs can still go through in front of it. My grandson wanted to see the palace for himself. But having been on a tour of Ireland where he had seen many Irish castles, he did not think Buckingham was very grand - he was a bit disappointed. Of course this originally wasn't a PALACE, it evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence, with 775 rooms.
He gave me his camera to take a photo of him in front of the palace (photos 4 and 5), and then we went on with our day.
While we could have toured the State Rooms, it was too expensive and we didn't have the time. Plus I am not sure from the website if the tour could have been done in June.
28 July - 25 September 2007 - 09:45 - 18:00 (last admission 15:45)
Admission is by timed ticket with entry every 15 minutes throughout the day. Tickets are valid only on the date and at the entrance time specified on the ticket. Regretably, late-comers cannot be admitted.
A visit lasts between 2 and 2½ hours.
The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
(includes audio guide)
Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £13.50
Under 17 £8.50
Under 5 Free
Family £38.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
A Royal Day Out
(The State Rooms, Royal Mews and The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £24.00
Under 17 £15.50
Under 5 Free
Family £69.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
By asking us to treat your purchase as a donation, we can claim gift aid tax relief on your payment. In return you can register on your first visit for a year’s Unlimited Admission
On Monday morning we took the tube to Buckingham Palace where we took the Big Bus walking tour for the Changing of the Guard (fabulous tour).
1. ROYAL LONDON WALK - (1.5 HOURS)
Includes Changing of the Guard
Our classic Royal London Walk takes you to the very heart of historic Royal London from St. James's Palace, former official residence of Prince Charles, to Buckingham Palace, celebrated home of the Queen, taking in one of the world's most spectacular ceremonies on the way - the Changing of the Guard
Daily at 10.00am If you do not have an all-inclusive Big Bus ticket, you are still very welcome to join the tours at a price of £5 per walk.
The Royal Mews is located left around the corner behind Buckingham Palace. It's a working stable where the royal family keeps horses and carriages used for important state occasions, like coronations and weddings.
The highlight of a visit to the Royal Mews is seeing the 4 ton Gold State Coach, which is used for coronations and takes 8 Windsor Grey horses to pull. Built in 1762 for King George III, the Gold State Coach is totally covered in gold leaf and was most recently used to carry the Queen during the Golden Jubilee of June 4, 2002.
Head coachman Colin Henderson, who in recent years had the duty of walking alongside the coach, was interviewed by the BBC and explained: "The carriage is on leather braces and not only rocks backwards and forwards but also oscillates, so I don't think it can be a particularly comfortable or enjoyable ride."
Queen Victoria once even refused to get inside the ornate Gold State Coach. She complained about the uncomfortable ride, saying that it gave her 'distressing oscillations'
The highlight of any visit to Buckingham Palace is the guard changing ceremony at 11:30 every day between May and July. Try to arrive at the palace before 10:45 so that you can stand in one of the better places to take photos. Note from my first photo that the ceremony occurs every other day during the winter season, but it's best to check the website's updated schedule. (http://www.changing-the-guard.com) During some months between August and April even numbered days are scheduled while other months may switch to odd days. You should also be aware that the ceremony will not take place during heavy rain.
Fancy a photo standing next to a guard (trying to make him laugh, of course)? Then you should go to St. James Palace which is down the mall from Queen Victoria's statue. Walk past the courtyard of the palace and turn left around the corner and there is a guard standing there for photo opportunities.
Another neat place to visit nearby is the Guard's Museum down on Birdcage Walk. (See photo #4) It is here where you are allowed to try on one of those big black bearskin hats that the guards wear.
If you can figure it out you can get a good picture of the members of the royal family by waiting near the gate.
We were lucky as there were not many people waiting around the gate the day we visited the palace.
On Friday we took the Big Bus tour, and then we got off and walked to Buckingham palace where we saw a mini changing of the guards