It doesn’t matter where you stay in London – from the Paddington Court Executive Rooms to the Park Grand London Hyde Park, complete with rewards and unrivalled views. London is, and always has been a place where royalty meets everyday life, and where tourists from all over the world can experience and immerse themselves in the reality of royal living.
Buckingham Palace has long been a feature on the postcards and in the photo albums of London’s visitors, with various occasions and events marking Buckingham Palace as a site where history is made. That’s why so often we find that experiences which include and invite visitors into the heart of Buckingham Palace itself are often the most popular – giving normal people a look inside the building which is home to the Queen and where endless historical moments have been witnessed.
With that said, where can you go in Buckingham Palace and what is on offer?
A Visit to Buckingham Palace
There are two areas of the palace which are open to the public for viewing all year round, including when the Queen is considered to be in residence and staying at the palace. The first is the official art gallery, and the second is an area called the Royal Mews.
To get to Buckingham Palace, those staying in or around the Grand Royale London Hyde Park rewards hotel can simply move south, through Hyde Park itself and towards St James’s Park and Green Park. Buckingham Palace is situated at the top end of The Mall, just the other side of Green Park – around which you will find a number of hotels linked with Premier Hotel Membership, giving you the best possible experience of London luxury.
Approaching the palace from The Mall is a spectacular way to really take in the architecture and structure – before you enter the Royal Mews which is where you will find yourself surrounded by all of the iconic vehicles and carriages that have carried the Queen and the royal family across London and down the infamous Mall over the years.
Here is what you will find in the Royal Mews and what to look out for when you visit.
What you will find in the Royal Mews
Home to the horses, carriages, and vehicles used by the royal family for state and ceremonial appearances, the Royal Mews presents a hub of activity which lets you see first-hand what it takes to handle the logistics of a royal outing.
One of the spotlight carriages on display is the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which was first used at the State Opening of Parliament in June 2014, and which was pulled by a total of six horses. This structure, which is recognisable with its black body and intricate, ornate gold detailing across the carriage and around each of the wheels, was made in Australia and boasts a stunning interior of wooden features and beautiful details.
The other spotlight carriage that you can see at the Royal Mews is the Gold State Coach – which is famous as the grandest coach at the Royal Mews and has been used in every coronation since George IV – including that of our current Queen in 1953. The Gold State Coach was also used in the Platinum Jubilee celebration in 2022 and weighs an incredible four tons – requiring 8 horses to pull it comfortably and safely.
Both of these carriages are displayed impeccably within the Royal Mews, with figure horses and horsemen dictating exactly how the carriages would be moved and carried around by horses when used.
Other things to look out for in the Royal Mews include the horses themselves, the Royal Glass coach which is used for smaller occasions and for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony specifically, and around thirty cars which are all used by and accessed by members of the royal family when they are out and about on state visits and business. These cars include two Bentleys, three Rolls Royce’s, and a series of older models – all of which have been fitted with special doors which are opened the opposite way to most standard cars in order to allow the passenger to exit more smoothly and in a dignified manner.
Things to be aware of
To visit the Royal Mews, you will need to book a ticket in advance. There are family discounts available, and large group bookings can be made directly with the Royal Mews venue team as required.
In addition to single tickets for the Royal Mews experience, you can book combined Royal Experience tickets which include access to the Queen’s Gallery and to Buckingham Palace for the official guided tour – making the perfect gift experience for those who love all things royal and who really want to immerse themselves in everything that London has to offer.
Experiences available at Royal Mews
As well as wandering around and seeing the impressive carriages and vehicles used by the royal family, when you visit the Royal Mews, you can also take part in a number of activities which are designed to entice and educate children and families as well as adults.
One such activity invites visitors to tack a wooden pony – preparing them for an outing.
Another section of the Royal Mews lets visitors look at and explore the intricacies of the livery jackets and outfits worn by the Queen’s coachmen – seeing how they differ with the seasons, but how relatively unchanged they remain in comparison with those from the Victorian era.
Finally, why not book yourself onto a guided tour so that you can really understand and learn about the ins and outs of every role and job within the Royal Mews – learning how to prepare a vehicle for use, and how special ceremonies are handled in relation to the carriages and the horses required to pull them.
A must-do for any royal fanatic, or for those who simply want to understand the ins and outs of royal life, the Royal Mews can be booked online.