Buckingham Palace is opened for tourists

The Buckingham Palace

On July, 29 – London, the main Elizabeth II residence − the Buckingham Palace was opened for tourists again. In the course of two next months everybody can visit the biggest of existing royal palaces.

The special intrigue to an unusual exhibition is given by the fact that people can not visit it in another time. Visitors can see 19 state halls featuring the rare works of art. The unique painting by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin and Gainsborough, sculpture by Chantry and Canova and also masterpieces of the English furniture and Sevr porcelain will be represented.

Moreover, visitors will have a unique opportunity to know the secrets of a backstage life of the palace. The system of conditional light signals used by the manager of a ceremony during the important supper for giving instructions to waiters, footmen and pages is traditionally shown to tourists. Among other interesting peculiarities of the royal life one can mention empty thrones in the distant part of the banquet room.

Elizabeth II has never sat on a throne during receptions − she takes the place at the head of the table and only at her armchair upholstered with a red fabric, there are armrests. To the left of the queen her spouse, Duke Phillip of Edinburgh sits down. It is remarkable that his chair is the same, as well as of all present persons. The guest of honour in whose honour the dinner is given takes a place to the right of the queen. One more interesting secret − a graceful locker with the vases put on it and a mirror above, elegantly driving off aside, opens a secret door through which the queen sometimes leaves to the visitors.

The tradition to open the Buckingham Palace for public originated in 1992 after a fire in the Windsor Castle, the main country residence of the English kings. At that time there were decided to open the Buckingham Palace for two months to send the collected money for the restoration of Windsor. As a result, incomes of the sale of tickets covered 70 % of all expenses for repair works, and days of the “open doors” became the tradition, continuing to exist up to that moment.

Excursions to the palace will last till September, 29.

Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA, London
Tel.: +44(020) 776 67300

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Published in: on September 18, 2008 at 1:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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