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5 ways to get a royal fix in London

5 ways to get a royal fix in London

To mark the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Musement offers 5 experiences in the footsteps of the British royals in London.

June is Queen’s Month! To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, events and celebrations are scheduled throughout the UK, from 2 to 5 June. The royal family’s residences, its castles and palaces, scattered throughout the country, are among the most fascinating and famous attractions in all of Europe. Can you think of a better place to immerse yourself in the world of British royalty than London? Even if you’re not a big fan of the royal family, it’s an integral part of popular culture, and some of these majestic tourist attractions are still worth a visit!

Read on to discover 5 experiences on the trail of English royalty in London.

1. Visit the Royal Palaces

No trip to London can be said to be complete without having taken at least a look at Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth’s main residence is only open for visits during the summer. Tickets run out quickly, so we suggest booking in advance. The good news is that the other royal palaces in the country can be visited all year round.

If you want to try to imagine what life of the English royal family might be like, there’s no better way than heading to a typical royal mansion. The Tower of London today preserves the Crown Jewels, but in the Middle Ages it was also used as a sumptuous apartment for the king and queen.

For a more up-to-date experience, Hampton Court might be the place to be. If you really want to get closer to the English royals, in London the best place is Kesington Palace, where William and Kate (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) live along with other young royals. Or visit Westminster Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was the setting for the royal wedding of William and Kate and where kings and queens of England were crowned.

 

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2. Visit some of the lesser-known royal attractions

Avoid the crowds and head to some of London’s lesser-known British royal attractions, such as the Queen’s House in Greenwich. Built between 1616 and 1635, the house was built for Queen Anne of Denmark and King James I. The building now houses a beautiful art collection, where you can admire works of art by great English masters, such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner and Hogarth.

For those interested in military history, a visit to the Household Cavalry Museum is a must. A living museum, belonging to the famous Whitehall horse guards, which still functions as the headquarters of the family division. Visitors will have the chance to see horses in eighteenth-century stables, as well as helmets and uniforms that are rarely exhibited to the public.

Then stop at Kew Palace, in the lush Kew Gardens, where you can access the royal kitchens and the cottage of Queen Charlotte. And if you’re in London in August, head to Clarence House, home to many English royalty in London over the years. Today it is the official home of Prince Charles and Camilla, five rooms on the ground floor are open to visit.

 

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3. Enjoy afternoon tea like a royal

Afternoon tea has been part of English culture for two centuries, becoming one of the most English ways to spend the afternoon. Head to Fortnum & Mason, holders with royal mandate and official food suppliers to the royal family, for a break and enjoy your well-deserved five-o’clock tea. Or check out our post on where to go for afternoon tea in London for more inspiration. You can enjoy small delicate sandwiches without crust, cakes and typical sweets with cream and jam. Accompany everything with a good cup of tea or, if you want to be elegant, with a glass of sparkling wine.

4. Go on a day trip to Windsor Castle

Leave the city, and go on a day trip from London to Windsor Castle, inhabited castle in the world! Built by William the Conqueror in the eleventh century, it was the home of 39 regents. It seems that the Queen spends most of her free weekends at the castle, which is also her official home for a month during the Easter period. Windsor Castle is just an hour away from Central London, so it can be easily reached on an organised tour or by train.

 

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5. Head north for your royal fix

It seems that Scotland is one of the Queen’s favorite places, which is why the journey on the trail of the English royals in London must leave the city to head north. In Edinburgh, visit Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official home in Scotland. Located at the end of the Royal Mile, the palace has been an important royal residence for centuries. The historic sixteenth-century apartment of Queen Mary of Scotland and the state apartments are open to the public during the year, of course except when members of the royal family are located here.

Or go even further to Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s summer residence, as well as one of the two private residences owned by the royal family, as opposed to the palaces that belong to the Crown. The castle is open to the public every year from April to July, after this period it is time for Queen Elizabeth’s stay. The Ballroom is the only royal room open to the public, but visitors can still walk in the gardens.


Ready for your journey on the trail of the English royals? Take a look at our travel experiences:

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