State Room Tour at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is recognized around the world as the home of The Queen, the focus of national and royal celebrations as well as the backdrop to the regular Changing the Guard ceremony.
Each year during the Queen’s annual holiday to Balmoral, Scotland from August to September and a few select dates in the winter and spring, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors.
The State Rooms are the public rooms in the Palace where The Queen and members of the Royal Family receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. The rooms are laid out as they are during State visits.
Buckingham Palace Open for Public Tours
The Queen first opened Buckingham Palace for public tours in 1993 following the fire at Windsor Castle to help pay for the multi-million dollar repairs. I was lucky enough to be in London in 1993 and was able to go on one of the tours during the August to September time period that the palace first opened. I remember waiting in line for hours with hundreds of others anticipating our first look inside of the historic palace.
There are a total of 19 State Rooms. Many of the State Rooms have a specific purpose to this day. The Throne Room is used by The Queen for court ceremonies and official entertaining and was the setting for the wedding photos of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The White Drawing Room might be the grandest of all the State Rooms, it serves as a royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before official occasions.
Highlights of the State Room Tour
White Drawing Room
Blue Drawing Room
Green Drawing Room
Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to take photos while on the tour inside of the staterooms at Buckingham Palace. Pictures are allowed in the Palace Gardens at the end of the tour.
One of my favorite parts about the tour is the backdrop picture of the Royal Family that visitors can take a picture with to make it look like you were actually there with them (well, almost).
Buckingham Palace State Room Tour Tips
- At the entrance of the tour, you will pass through an airport-style security check. Make sure not to bring large items. You can store your personal items in a bin and retrieve them at the end of the tour.
- Allow 2-2½ hours for your visit.
- Included with your ticket is an audio guide that details the history of each room.
- Prebook your ticket. There is a timed admission system operating in 15-minute time slots. This is the time you select when purchasing your ticket.
- Arrive at the entry time printed on your ticket and not earlier.
- Wear comfortable shoes as the end of the tour includes a half-mile walk through the Royal Garden to the exit.
Book your tickets for the Buckingham Palace State Room Tour HERE!
About Royal Collection Trust
Royal Collection Trust looks after the Royal Collection, one of the most important art collections in the world, and manages the public opening of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. These include Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews, Clarence House and The Queen’s Gallery in London; Windsor Castle and Frogmore House in Windsor; the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh.
Through their work, from exhibitions and learning programs to publications and retail products, they aim to ensure that the Royal Collection and Palaces are valued and enjoyed by everyone.
Royal Collection Trust is a registered charity and income generated through admissions and other commercial activity funds the care and conservation of the Royal Collection and the promotion of access to and enjoyment of the Collection through exhibitions, publications, loans, and educational programs.
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