Royal London - London Apartments UK

From regal robes and crown jewels to sumptuous state apartments and ceremonial carriages, here's where to go in London for an insight into British Royalty throughout the ages.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. If you have never been to London before, a visit to Her Majesty’s place of residence is a must. Of the Palace’s 775 rooms, only the 19 State Rooms – used by the Queen and her guests for official and state entertaining – are open to the public. These are well worth seeing as they contain some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, sculpture by Canova and priceless pieces of porcelain and furniture. Visitors can also take a stroll around part of the Palace gardens during the opening weeks.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. Discover stories from Queen Victoria's life told in her own words in the new Victoria Revealed exhibition; master the games of royal court in the magnificent King's State Apartments; get a glimpse of a modern Princess in a special exhibition of some of Diana's dresses and uncover the secrets of a fragile dynasty in the beautiful Queen's State Apartments. A palace of secret stories and public lives.

Queen's Gallery

The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the Nation. About 450 works are on display at any one time.

Hampton Court Palace

Explore the wonders of this majestic building, and the stories behind them. This is the story of two palaces: a Tudor palace, magnificently developed by Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII, alongside a baroque palace built by William III and Mary II. Explore profiles, stories and little-known facts about some of England’s famous monarchs and interesting characters associated with Hampton Court Palace.

Royal Mews

One of the finest working stables in existence, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace provides a unique insight into the department of the Royal Household that provides transport by road for The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The Royal Mews houses the State vehicles, both horse-drawn carriages and motor cars, used for coronations, State Visits, royal weddings, the State Opening of Parliament and official engagements. Visitors can see the Gold State Coach which was last used during The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 to carry Her Majesty and Prince Philip to the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. For most of the year the stables are home to the working horses that play an important role in The Queen's official and ceremonial duties. They are mainly Cleveland Bays, the only British breed of carriage horse, and the Windsor greys, which by tradition always draw the carriage in which The Queen is travelling.

Kew Palace

The most intimate of royal palaces, Kew Palace was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818. In happier times, George III, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children enjoyed a relatively simple domestic routine at Kew. In later years the atmosphere darkened as family rivalries became more intense and relationships soured. Kew became a retreat for the ailing king and a virtual prison for his elder unmarried daughters. Experience a riot of colour in authentically re-created Georgian rooms, before wandering through the eerie rooms of the upper floor, left untouched for centuries. Also set within Kew Gardens is Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, built in the 1770’s and decorated as a fascinating rustic-style cottage complete with thatched roof, this is where the family enjoyed informal picnics and afternoon teas. The People’s Library at Kew Palace allows visitors to explore the history of the palace and its residents using touch screens and copies of rare and unpublished material.

The Tower of London

Take a tour around the Tower of London, one of the world's most famous buildings. It is impossible not to be drawn in by the (often grisly) history of the Tower of London. See the spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded, the infamous White Tower where Richard III imprisoned his young nephews, and, of course, the Crown Jewels, still proudly in place despite the best efforts of Colonel Blood in 1671. Despite its grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress.

Banqueting House

The Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, is the grandest and best known survivor of the architectural genre of banqueting house, and the only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall. The building is important in the history of English architecture as the first building to be completed in the neo-classical style which was to transform English architecture. The Banqueting House was completed in 1622, 27 years before King Charles I of England was executed on a scaffold in front of it in January 1649. See this revolutionary building and explore its dramatic history.

Changing the Guard

This colourful ceremony is one of the 'must sees' on a trip to London.  Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard. The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (which is responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James’s Palace Detachment, (which guards St. James’s Palace). These guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units. When Guardsmen are on duty, the soldiers are drawn from one of the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards.