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5 ways to get a royal fix in London

5 ways to get a royal fix in London

Thanks to the popularity of Netflix’s The Crown, and the ongoing drama with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the fascination with the British monarchy is at an all-time high. Here, Musement takes a look at five ways to get a royal fix in London.

The British monarchy, and the countless royal palaces and castles dotted throughout the country, are some of the UK’s biggest tourism attractions. And what better place to immerse yourself in the world of royalty than London? Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the royals, they are a huge part of the British culture and some of these grand attractions are definitely worth seeing anyway!

Here, Musement reveals five ways to get a royal fix in London:

1. See the Royal Palaces

No trip to London is complete without a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. Serving as the Queen’s main residence, the Palace is only open to visitors during the summer. Tickets sell fast so it is always recommended to book in advance. However, the good news is the other palaces and venues around London can be visited all year round.

If you’re trying to imagine what life as a royal might be like, there’s no better way than strolling through a typical royal abode. The Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels but also used to house luxurious apartments in which the medieval kings and queens resided.

For a more up-to-date experience, Hampton Court might be a bit more enlightening. Of course, if you really want to get close to royalty, then go to Kensington Palace, where William and Kate (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) actually live, along with other young royals! Or pay a visit to Westminster Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that played host to Kate and Will’s fairy-tale wedding and to countless coronations of British kings and queens.

 

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2. Visit some of the lesser-known royal attractions

Escape the crowds and head to some of the lesser-known royal attractions in London, such as the Queen’s House in Greenwich. Constructed between 1616 and 1635, the house was built for Queen Anne of Denmark and King James I. Now home to an extensive art collection, take a tour of the former royal residence and admire works by Great Masters such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner and Hogarth.

For any military history buffs out there, a visit to the Household Cavalry Museum is a must. Located within Whitehall’s Horse Guards, it still functions as the headquarters for the Household Division. Visitors can view the horses in the 18th century working stables through a glazed partition, as well as see rare exhibits and displays of uniforms and helmets.

Stop by Kew Palace, set amongst the lush backdrop of Kew Gardens, visitors can access the royal kitchens and Queen’s Charlotte’s cottage. And if you’re in London during August then head for Clarence House, which has been home to many members of the royal family over the years. Now the official residence of Prince Charles and Camilla, visitors can access five rooms on the ground floor.

 

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3. Enjoy afternoon tea like a royal

One of the most quintessentially British ways to spend an afternoon, afternoon tea has been a British tradition for two centuries. Head to Fortnum & Mason, royal warrant holders and grocery suppliers to the royal family, for a well-deserved afternoon tea break from sightseeing. Or check out our post on where to go for afternoon tea in London for more inspiration. Expect sandwiches cut delicately into fingers (without the crusts), small cakes, pastries and scones with clotted cream and jam. Then wash it all down with a pot of English breakfast tea, or if you’re feeling fancy, a glass of fizz.

4. Go on a day trip to Windsor Castle

Escape the city, and go on a day trip from London to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has been the home of 39 monarchs. The Queen is said to spend most of her private weekends at the Castle and is also her official residence for a month during Easter Court. Windsor Castle is situated less than 25 miles from central London and can be easily reached through an organised tour with transport or by train.

 

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5. Head north for your royal fix

Scotland is rumoured to be one of the Queen’s favourite places, so why not head north of the border to get your royal fix. Visit Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, which is Her Majesty’s official residence in Scotland. Standing at the end of the Royal Mile, the palace has been an important royal residence for centuries. The 16th century historic apartments of Mary Queen of Scots and the State Apartments are open to visitors throughout the year, except when members of the royal family are in residence of course.

Or go even further afield to Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence and one of two personal and private residences owned by the royal family, unlike the palaces, which belong to the Crown. The Castle is open to the public from April to July each year, after which Queen Elizabeth arrives for her stay. The Ballroom is the only room in the castle open to the public, but visitors can stroll the grounds and gardens.

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