When Hazel and I found out that we could go into Buckingham Palace for a tour, we jumped at the opportunity and did not hesitate! Haha as soon as we found a free day within our 3 weeks of school, we quickly went online and bought our tickets instantly.
We were very excited. Buckingham Palace tours are only available in the summer, and it was great that we were there right when the tours began.
We booked the Royal Day Out tour, which included admission to three different areas of the palace: The Queen’s Gallery, The Royal Mews and The State Rooms.
The State Rooms
The State Rooms is located at the Buckingham Palace as we all know it: The building you see behind the gates during the Changing of Guards ceremony.
no photos allowed…
We went to the State Rooms last, because it took the longest time to finish. Buckingham Palace is hugeeeeeee man, we spent so long in there. No photos were allowed in the state rooms, so everything I saw it captured by my visual memory lol.
We saw many many rooms, but I think what stood out to me the most was the dining hall, and those used to host guests. I guess because Singapore was the last country to make state visits to the Buckingham Palace before the preparation of the tour started, all the displays and dining hall set-ups were from the Singapore state visit. It was so cool, seeing how they prepared for the visit, the menu items, and the name plates at the dining table (names of our President, his wife, and other ministers). It felt so much more relevant haha, great timing for us to be visiting the Buckingham Palace.
Every room was decorated really well, and chandeliers, old pictures and antique furniture. It all looked really grand. We could only take pictures once we reached the back of the building, facing the garden.
There was a Garden Café there, where we could get hot tea/coffee, scones and well, ice-cream 😛 (The sun was way hot that day, I think we were all sweating a little hahaha)
The Royal Mews
The Royal Mews are in charge of providing road transport for the Queen and members of the Royal Family, be it by horse carriages or motor cars. The state vehicles and the horses are housed at the Royal Mews, where they are taken care of and maintained.
We got to see really grand-looking and embellished horse carriages at the Royal Mews, along with our audio guides, which gave us additional information on the various exhibits.
The grandest state vehicle on display at the Royal Mews was the Gold State Coach, which has been used for every coronation since 1821. It was designed and first used in 1723. It certainly doesn’t look its age. It was really huge and the designs were so intricate. Also note that there are panels that are hand painted, which makes this coach even more exquisite and practically a piece of art.
The Royal Mews is also a working stable for the horses that pull the royal carriages, known as the Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays. We were able to view the old stables, which still displayed the names of the horses that used to live there, including Cinderella who was born in 2005 awwww.
We managed to see two of the horses before we exited the Royal Mews. We didn’t get to pet them, but Pearl posed for the photo! 🙂
The Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery was our first stop, because it took the least time to finish. We had to queue a bit to get in, and the place was really smaller than expected. Because it was our last day in London, we’d all been museum-ed out haha, the Queen’s Gallery looked somewhat similar to the other British museums we visited previously. We had our audio guides too, and listened to the commentaries for the many paintings in the gallery.
The Royal Day Out tour was really good, and I recommend it because it gives you access to all three main areas of the Buckingham Palace! I think there are guided tours for your visit, but audio guides are also provided, which I think made the visit more enriching, especially in the State Rooms.
They also had the biggest gift shop EVER?! Omg all those merchandise hahaha, it all looked so cute but I resisted.
This may not have been a smashing experience, but how cool is visiting the Buckingham Palace?! I’ve not ticked off the South Korean Blue House and London’s Buckingham Palace, but have not been to the Istana in Singapore… LOL #fail
give yourself more time!
Be sure to leave yourself a whole afternoon to go through the whole tour because it does take quite long, especially for the State Rooms! The places also close pretty early, last admission at 4.15pm.
The people at the counter recommended for us to go through the tour in the following sequence: Queen’s Gallery > The Royal Mews > The State Rooms because of their location.
Royal Day Out