London is one of the most charming cities of the world. Whether its a culinary journey, a visit to their most popular landmarks, or a glimpse of the iconic skyline, all in all its a breath taking expedition. The city inhabits 8.17 million residents, and a steady stream of global travellers. Moreover, I am one of the first time visitor’s, experiencing the thrill of visiting her majesty’s residence on this day. We reached Buckingham Palace in time, just as people began to gather around the colossal Black and Golden gate. My friends from London, told me that the best time to visit the palace is during the changing of the guard ceremony.
Royal Tip: If you notice the Royal Standard flag, flying atop Buckingham Palace, it means the queen is in the palace. In my case, the Queen was in the Palace when I visited, I guess will need another trip to visit the state rooms.
Changing the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace
A royal ceremony, where the royal guards change the shifts! I had the pleasure of observing a similar ritual in India, at Wagha Border a few years back. To emphasise, its an experience, that gives you spine tingling goosebumps. Nonetheless, I had the privilege to watch the Royal guards change the shift in London, in the utmost royal order.
This profound (45 mins) ceremony, is prominently dominated by the guards in red suits, wearing bearskin hats, marching across the barricades. I could clearly see the balcony through the gates, the one which fondly recites the tales of Charles and Diana. The balcony, where the two waived to the masses, or even kissed to express the sincere most form of affection.
Things you must know before you visit!
Buckingham Palace, is located in central London, near St James Park, Green Park and Victoria.
The Changing of the Guard, happens at 11:30AM, however can be canceled under hoarse weather conditions.
The palace is open to all, during the summer (July until September), and you can join the tour between 9:30AM to 7:30PM
The tickets for an Adult is priced at £21.50, which must be booked well in advance.
Tickets to Buckingham palace, include visit to the state rooms, and a reign exhibition.
You get a free Audio guided tour to the palace.
The audio tour is introduced by His Royal Highness, and the prince of Wales.
Audio guides are available in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin and Brazilian for user assistance.
The Queen’s Residence
Queen Victoria, was the 1st British monarch to use the palace as her official residence in 1837. Ever since then, it has been the Britain’s sovereign’s official London residence. Although in recent times, it is also the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. Then again, the Buckingham Palace contains 775 rooms, 52 bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 19 state rooms, 92 offices and 78 washrooms.
Indeed a lavish palace, and I would say an unmatchable altar of the royal family. In addition, there are 800 royal servants including a flagman, to serve the palace. Not many know, that this palace is not the Queen’s private property. Instead, the palace is occupied by the sovereigns, and is held in trust by crown states for future generations. During her majesty’s visit, to the United kingdom, the 19 state rooms in the palace are used to entertain guests. The palace opens up these rooms to the visitors, during Queen’s annual visit to Scotland between August and September.
The Grand Staircase
The best attraction of the Buckingham Palace tour is their Grand Staircase. Provided that, it represents some of the world’s finest bronze casting work. Moreover, the staircase is lit by an etched glass dome in the ceiling. I almost got awestruck by the grandeur of the paintings, so will you. Situated in the heart of London, and surrounded by 2 royal parks, a trip must definitely be planned to Grand palace, if you are in London.