For most of the year, Buckingham Palace is off limits to the public. After all, the place isn’t just for show. It’s the real London residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the workplace of over 800 people. It also houses priceless art and furnishings, including work by Canaletto, and sculptures by Canova. Your best bet to see it is usually at the fabulous changing of the guard ceremony.

But every summer Londoners get a special treat. The Palace opens its doors and allows limited access to its gorgeous state rooms. This special event only lasts from the 22nd of July to the 1st of October so make sure you plan your visit carefully.

Let’s learn a little more and check out a few of the Buckingham Palace state rooms that you absolutely can’t miss.

About your visit

The state rooms are so-called because they were used as the public chambers of the Palace. Dignitaries and guests would be welcomed here by a member of the Royal staff, or perhaps by the Queen herself. They consist of nineteen rooms designed by famed British architect John Nash. Watch out for the many treasured pieces of art and furniture that form a part of the Royal Collection.

The Throne Room

The throne room is perhaps the centrepiece of the tour. This regal scarlet chamber features two throne chairs designed in the late seventeenth-century style for the Queen’s coronation. You can also see a range of other thrones on display made for Kings and Queens throughout the ages.

The Music Room

Lavish and awe-inspiring, the music room is immediately striking for its use of domed ceilings and Romanesque columns. It’s often used for entertaining and for Royal Christenings, and three of the Queen’s children were christened here. The grand piano is by John Broadwood & Sons. Though, how often it is used we can only speculate.

The Ballroom

One rarely gets to stand in a room quite like this. The ballroom was built in 1855 and used for concerts and parties for attending guests. The two beautiful thrones in this room were built in 1902 for King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. You can also see the profiles of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on the medallion opposite the musician’s gallery.

The Blue Drawing Room

Before 1855, this room was actually used as the Palace’s ballroom. It’s used today to house the Table of Great Commanders – a stunning porcelain table commissioned by Napoleon – as well as a variety of other priceless artefacts. Spend some time in this room taking in the beautiful collection.

If you’re excited to see the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, make sure to check out our tour. The State Rooms tour includes a visit to the Royal Gifts exhibition, which showcases the fascinating gifts the Queen has received. For more information, get in touch with one of our tour advisors.