Queen Elizabeth II has decided to open the gardens of her official residence, The Buckingham Palace, to public visitors this summer for unguided tours. This has happened for the first time ever in the history of the palace.
Paying visitors will be able to take self-guided tours of the sprawling 39-acre gardens of the palace from 9th July to 19th September this year.
While guided tours did have access to some areas of the gardens of the Buckingham Palace, visitors will now be able to explore a much larger area and enjoy having a picnic too.
Members of the public will be able to enjoy rare flora and fauna and meadows “carpeted with primroses and bluebells… flowering camellia, magnolia and azalea shrubs and trees,” said the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) in a press release.
The grounds were originally landscaped by Capability Brown. However, the current landscape dates back to the 1820s when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace.
The garden consists of more than 1,000 trees, including a 400-year-old mulberry dating to James I of England and more than 320 wildflowers and grasses. It has also been the setting for numerous concerts and exclusive parties. Another major attraction is the 19th century lake, which links to the Serpentine Lake in nearby Hyde Park.
An RCT spokeswoman said: “The traditional opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will not take place this year.
“We anticipate that social distancing will still be in place this summer and that visitor numbers to London will be low for some time yet due to the uncertainty around domestic and international travel.
“The costs incurred opening the palace to the public in the usual way would be far greater than the visitor admissions and retail income that we could expect.
“However, we are delighted to offer unique access to the Buckingham Palace garden this year as an alternative.”
And, this alternative seems extremely alluring. Doesn’t it? Would you be interested in visiting the Buckingham Palace and enjoying a good picnic? We certainly will!