Royal Palaces - Buckingham Palace

The London residence of His Majesty The King Buckingham Palace is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.

Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch that is also used as a venue for Royal Ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures.

The nineteen State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, which are used regularly for official and State entertaining by The King and members of the Royal Family, are mainly in the west wing facing the gardens.

The Summer Opening at Buckingham Palace gives you the chance to see inside and explore the lavishly furnished State Rooms and walk through the gardens which are as stunning as the building.


Scroll down for details of the 2022 Summer Opening...

Buckingham Palace East Wing

Visiting The State Rooms

The Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace this year is from the 22 July 2022 - 02 October 2022.

State Room Opening Times 2022

11 July - 31 August 2024 Opens: 09:30 | Last Admission: 17:15 | Closes: 19:30

1st - 29th September 2024 Opens: 09:30 | Last Admission: 16:15 | Closes: 18:30


Visitor Tip

Planning to visit the State Rooms and watch the Changing of the Guard on the same day? 
Book an entry time after 12:30 as it is not possible to see Changing the Guard from the State Rooms or the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Your tour of the State Rooms begins at the Grand Entrance which is normally reserved for foreign ambassadors and diplomats, and there is a lot to see.

Your journey takes you through the same rooms used by The King and members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions.

Each year the Palace's summer opening features an exclusive special exhibition as well as the priceless works of art and exquisite furniture from the Royal Collection that adorn the State Rooms.

Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace
Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace

Things You Need To Know

  • Suggested visit duration: 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • Entry is timed, but you are free to visit at your own pace.
  • An audio guide to the Palace is included in the ticket price. This guides you through the State Rooms as well as the annual special exhibition.
    Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Mandarin.
  • On arrival, you and your belongings will be subject to airport-style security checks. 
    Some items such as large items of baggage, backpacks and pushchair's will have to be checked in and reclaimed at the end of your visit.
  • Photography, video recording and filming, including the use of wearable devices for non-commercial purposes, are not permitted inside the State Rooms.
  • Photography and filming for non-commercial purposes are allowed in the garden of Buckingham Palace.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off inside the State Rooms.
  • For safety reasons, pushchair's cannot be taken into the State Rooms. 
    They must be checked in and reclaimed at the exit. Baby carriers and hip seats can be borrowed free of charge, subject to availability, .
  • Admission is scheduled for the time stated on tickets and latecomers will not be admitted.

Royal Standard flying over Buckingham PalaceIs The King At Home?

When the Royal Standard, is flying, from the flagpole, over the Palace you know His Majesty The King is at home.

You will also see four Foot Guards on sentry duty at the front of the Palace when The King is in residence, and only two when he is away.

When the Union Flag flies above Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or Sandringham House it signals that The King is not in residence.

Facts and Figures About Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837.

Queen Victoria was the first Monarch to take up residence in Buckingham Palace.

The familiar and much photographed view of the Palace is the East Wing. The State Rooms are behind in the West Wing.

The Palace, measuring 108 metres across the front is a 120 metres deep, including the quadrangle, has a total floor area exceeding 77,000 square metres.

Inside Buckingham Palace there are 775 rooms including 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

The largest room in the Palace is the Ballroom, where Investitures and State banquets take place today. It is 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high. It was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War.

The Palace's garden, which covers 40 acres, has a helicopter landing area, a lake, and a tennis courts, is used for summer garden parties and has been the setting for charity events.

More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as The King's guests at banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties.

Over 800 members of staff work at Buckingham Palace.

Marble Arch, originally at the entrance to Buckingham Palace, had to be moved to its present site, near Speaker's Corner, when Queen Victoria added the East Wing. in the 1840s.

The forecourt, where Changing the Guard takes place, was created in 1911, was part of a scheme to commemorate Queen Victoria. The gates and railings were also added in 1911.

In addition to being the London home of The King and Queen Camilla Buckingham Palace is also home to The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra who have private offices and apartments located within Buckingham Palace.

History of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was built in 1702 by the Duke of Buckingham as his London home. The house was then later sold to George III in 1761 by the Duke's son.

In 1774 it was renamed "Queen's House" as Queen Charlotte resided there.

The Palace has seen many renovations and alterations, the first of which was in 1820 when John Nash was commissioned by George IV.

Nash, one of the foremost architects of the day added a new suite of rooms facing west into the garden, this doubled the size of the building.

Queen Victoria, who was the first monarch to take up residence in Buckingham Palace, in 1837, made extensive changes including the East front which contains the well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregates to greet crowds outside.

The Portland stone facade, that overlooks the Mall today, was added during the reign of King George V with works being completed in 1914.

Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Visit The Royal Mews At Buckingham Palace

The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is one of the finest working stables in existence and home to the royal collection of historic coaches and carriages.

Responsible for all road travel undertaken by the Royal Family a visit to the Royal Mews lets you see what it takes to keep the Royal Family on the move!

The most dazzling of all the coaches on display is the Gold State Coach, last used during The King's Coronation in 2023.

Gold State Coach in the Royal Mews
Gold State Coach in the Royal Mews

Opening Times For The Royal Mews

The Royal Mews is closed until 1 March 2024

1 March - 3 November 2024: Opening Time: 10:00 | Last Admission: 16:00 | Closing Time: 17:00

Royal Mews Closures

The Royal Mews is part of a working royal palace which means closures can happen at short notice.

  • Friday, 29 March 2024 The Roayl Mews is closed


The Queens Gallery Buckingham Palace

An exhibition from the Royal Collection featuring old master paintings, rare furniture, decorative arts and images from the vast photograph collection..

Opening time: 10:00 | Last admission: 16:15 | Closing time: 17:00

The Queen's Gallery Closures:

  • Closed Friday, 9 October - 9 November 2023 inclusive
  • Closed 25-26 December
  • Closed 29 March 2024


Typically a visit lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Getting to Buckingham Palace

Address: Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA

By Underground

The nearest tube stations are:
Victoria - District, Circle & Victoria line
Green Park - Piccadilly, Victoria & Jubilee line
St James's Park?-?District & Circle line

By Train

Nearest, mainline, train station: 
London Victoria - About 15 minutes walk

By Bus

Bus Numbers: 11, 211, 239, C1 & C10 Stop on Buckingham Palace Rd.

By Car

Not recommended, Buckingham Palace is in the congestion charge zone.
Parking is difficult to find and expensive.

Getting Around London

The Visitor Oyster Card is the cheapest and most flexible way to travel around London.

Valid on London Underground, buses, trams and the Dockland Light Railway (DLR).

  • Accepted everywhere: Use on most London public transport, including Tube, buses, tram, DLR, Overground and National Rail services in London
  • Flexible and reusable: Choose the credit you need. Use it again on your next trip to London or pass it on to friends or family
  • Save Money: Save up to 50% on your travels including journeys to Central London from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport with a Visitor Oyster card
  • Save Time: Your card is ready to use as soon you arrive in London. Simply touch in and go

London Day Travelcard gives you access to unlimited travel on London Underground trains, buses, Docklands Light Railway, trams and overland trains within London.

  • Cheap: with one ticket you get unlimited travel, [ within the zones your Travel card covers], working out much cheaper than buying single tickets
  • Easy: Enjoy unlimited travel on London's public transport, including Tube, buses, Overground and National Rail services
  • Groups: If you are travelling in London with a group of 10 or more people, you can buy a Group Day Travelcard.

More Palaces and Castles to Visit

More Royal Palaces and Castles in the UK you can visit and experience hand the rich history of some of the of the world's most iconic buildings.

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