Royal London is a quarter steeped in tradition, where England’s Monarchs have resided for centuries. Our tour covers the historic buildings and places that still host the pageantry, ceremony and working life of the Royal Family.
Starting at Buckingham Palace, the Monarch’s official London residence, we will describe the history and life of the Palace and, in summer months, visit the 19 magnificent State Rooms, viewing the Thrones and the Ballroom set for a State Banquet. Most days the unmissable spectacle of Changing of the Guard can also be enjoyed.
A visit to Royal London must include the Royal Mews which has housed the Queen’s carriages and horses at Buckingham Palace since the 1820s. These are used daily on Palace business and up to 50 times a year for Court and State occasions. Highlights include the dazzling Gold State Coach, used at every Coronation since 1821 and the latest addition, the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
We’ll walk through Green Park, a famous duelling venue until Charles II’s time, past Clarence House, built for William IV, later the home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and now to the Prince of Wales. We’ll pass the historic courts of St James’s Palace, built for Henry VIII in the 1530s and scene of many momentous events in English history to enter St James’s Park.
The oldest Royal Park, it was created by Henry VIII for deer-hunting and became James I’s zoo – with camels, elephants and crocodiles. The famous pelicans are the successors of those here in the 1660s.
Next up is Horse Guards Parade, former jousting-yard of the long-gone Whitehall Palace, now used for Royal parades. Usually the Life Guards can be seen here in their dashing uniforms. Across Whitehall lies the grand Banqueting House. We’ll see the sumptuous ceiling painting by Rubens and where King Charles I ascended to the scaffold.
Our tour ends with Westminster Abbey, venue for Coronations for a thousand years and host to many Royal Weddings – including those of the current Queen and Prince William – and to state funerals and Memorial services for Royal and national figures.
With so many things to see and hear about in Royal London, the services of a professional Blue Badge Guide will help bring all the stories to life. It will help you make the most of an experience of a lifetime.