Charlotte and I were able to take the Buckingham Palace State Room Tour last week with Laura from AboutLondon and her 7 year old daughter. Charlotte and I have never been inside Buckingham Palace so were very excited to have a tour let alone a tour which was also exhibited the special exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Coronation.
Having been on the Windsor Castle tour, we knew to get the Children’s Audio guide (and we convinced everyone in our party to do the same). The Children’s audio tour deals less with dates and facts and more with fun facts and trivia.
The audio tour allows you to go through the State Rooms at a good pace and ensures you see the interesting paintings and other objects within the rooms. The ushers are very sweet and mindful of dealing with children.
What was very hard, but understandable, was the No photo policy in all but the exhibition room. I’m a culture snatcher and love to take photos of everything! However, this allowed me to put my phone away and appreciate the tour more.
Several times throughout the tour, the narrator asked us questions and prompted us to move out of the way of the busy crowds. I thought this was a lovely touch as they are fully aware how crowded the tours can be and that children sometimes might push to the front if not told otherwise.
Charlotte loved being able to walk the red Grand Staircase as she has seen pictures of the Queen standing on the staircase and it was magical for her to be able to do the same.
The special exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Coronation was displayed exquisitely – it was a honor to see these precious items that were used on such an important historical day. The audio tour didn’t cover this room but the signage was interesting enough for +7 and up.
There is a Family Room for children to create their own royal drawings and only children are allowed in this room. We were stopped going in at first as Charlotte looks older than 11.
Afterwards, we headed to the café for some much need coffee and cake. In true Buckingham Palace style, there was a Royal Crown of Chocolate sprinkled on the cappuccino with another crown on the cake. Both were highly delicious and priced reasonable.
To leave the 2-2 1/2 hour tour, you have to walk through the Queen’s garden. There is a children’s trail available that has the family looking for specific trees, birds, insects and of course the Queen’s helicopter pad.
Definitely something we recommend but book your tickets sooner rather than later as this is always a hot ticket!
27 July -31 August 2013
Open daily 09:30-19:00
1-29 September 2013
Open daily 09:30-18:00