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Queen to open Buckingham Palace garden for picnics this summer

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Buckingham Palace has had to cancel its traditional opening of the State Rooms for the second year in a row (Picture: PA)

Brits will be able to picnic in Buckingham Palace’s gardens this summer, for the first time ever. 

Every year the Palace opens its doors to thousands of visitors who rush to see its grand rooms and exhibitions. But this event was cancelled for two years in a row because of the pandemic.

Instead, the historic gardens, which date back to the 1820s, will host families and friends mixing outdoors. 

From July, Visitors will be able to use self-guided tours to take them through a route which includes a 3.5-acre lake which has an island with multiple beehives. 

The gardens were landscaped when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace. Now it is 39 acres of biodiversity, filled with more than 1,000 trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses.

No alcohol, barbecues or ball games will be allowed.

People can take self-guided tours and see the 3.5-acre lake which has an island with a beehive (Picture: PA)
The Palace was landscaped in the 1820s when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace (Picture: PA)
The gardens have more than 1,000 trees throughout its 39 acres (Picture: PA)

The garden visits are part of Buckingham Palace’s plans to go ahead with some of its exhibitions with small guided tours from May to September. 

This includes Windsor Castle and the exhibition Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s Gallery, in Buckingham Palace, which will welcome visitors from May 17.

From April 26, people will be able to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the new exhibition Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour at the Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh. 

Tours will also cover some of the Palace’s most famous State Rooms with furnishings from the Royal Collection, such as paintings by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Sevres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.

Visitors will be able to see some of the Palace’s most famous State Rooms (Pictured: White Drawing Room) (Picture: PA)
The exhibition Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace at The Queen’s Gallery, which will open to visitors from May 17 (Picture: PA)

The Royal Collection Trust said: ‘The traditional opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will not take place this year.

‘We anticipate that social distancing will still be in place this summer and that visitor numbers to London will be low for some time yet due to the uncertainty around domestic and international travel. 

‘The costs incurred opening the palace to the public in the usual way would be far greater than the visitor admissions and retail income that we could expect.

‘However, we are delighted to offer unique access to the Buckingham Palace garden this year as an alternative.’

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