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THE ESSENTIAL BUCKINGHAM PALACE TOUR
Now largely open to the public, Buckingham Palace is the highlight of any visit to London. After admiring the magnificent exhibitions in the Queen's Gallery, grown-ups and little ones alike can enjoy the famous changing of the guard.
From late July to late September, most of the west wing apartments where the Queen and her family live and entertain are accessible to the public.
British subjects and tourists alike can visit the throne room, scene of the most important royal events, and try to find the secret door to the White Drawing Room through which the Queen accesses the reception rooms from her private apartments.
This magnificent neoclassical home has evolved significantly since its construction in the early eighteenth century, with the notable addition of a sumptuous bronze staircase with a double balustrade during the renovation commissioned by George IV.
Among its many lavishly decorated rooms, the most famous are the Picture Gallery, where works from Rembrandt and Rubens are on display, as well as the huge Renaissance-inspired Ballroom and the Music Room, where royal christenings are still celebrated.
You can also visit the world-renowned exhibitions at the Queen's Gallery throughout the year to admire the most majestic pieces in the royal collection, featuring painted masterpieces and photographs as well as remarkable examples of decorative art and furniture.
The exterior of the Palace is equally well-known, with the traditional changing of the guard ceremony offering a beautifully choreographed ballet.
The famous guards, known for their impassivity, set off from the nearby Wellington barracks every morning and belong to five different regiments, which can be identified by the plumes adorning their tall black hats.