Buckingham Palace opens for summer: See how Queen Victoria made it what it is

Buckingham Palace State Room

Buckingham Palace wasn’t always what it is today. And a lot of what made it so comes right down to the woman responsible; Queen Victoria.

She was the first to use the Palace as a residence, the first to redo the inside, the first to throw three balls within its walls and made it so much more than a symbol of English monarchy.

And now this summer from 20 July, the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace are opening to give you an inside look into the royal era that was filled with music, dancing and entertaining that characterised the Queen’s reign.

It’s all a part of marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and the exhibition Queen Victoria’s Palace tells the story of how the young monarch brought the Palace to life, transforming an empty royal residence into the most glittering court in Europe.

She was only 18 when she became Queen and started turning things around, the tale of which the exhibition tells in great, visually sumptuous detail.

You’ll tour the Buckingham Palace State Rooms, formed by Queen Victoria to host foreign dignitaries, throw parties and follow the pomp and ceremony of English Monarchy, developing trends and traditions that are still followed today.

Ever wondered why the Royal family steps out on the balcony for public appearances? You’ll find out.

Ever wondered whose idea it was to build the big east-facing balcony in the first place? Well, you’ll learn that, too.

Ever wondered how many rooms-on-rooms-on-rooms there are in the inner western wing of Buckingham Palace that few get to see? Not only will you get to see them, but with the tour and audio guide, you’ll not only get to see the spaces, but learn some of their secrets and purposes, too.

Queen Victoria Palace 2
Joseph Nash, Buckingham Palace: The East Front from St James’s Park, 1846.

Queen Victoria was one of the longest reigning Monarchs in the history of Europe and the UK. And it’s easy to see why. She was tenacious, forthright, seemed to have a lot of ideas, loved her husband Albert, whose untimely death shook her for almost a decade, and whose personality imbued the Palace with what we know it as today.

Be sure to check out the exhibition, open to the public until 20 September 2019.

Find the exhibition at the Buckingham Palace State Rooms, entrance on Buckingham Palace Road, London or see more at the Royal Collection Trust website.

Buckingham Palace