5 Historical things to do in London today – Part 1
Visit Buckingham Palace
The Queen’s official London residence has a whopping 775 rooms. The 19 lavishly decorated State Rooms are open to visitors during the summer. The rooms form the heart of the working palace. They’re furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection including paintings by Rembrandt, sculpture by Canova and some of the finest English and French furniture.
SW1A 1AA (Green Park Underground)
Watch Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
The guard change at Buckingham Palace has an official start time of 11.30am, however the guards start arriving with music at 11.15am. The ceremony runs for 30 minutes and all the guards taking part in the daily ceremony are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats. The ceremony is set to music and takes place on different days depending on the month you visit.
Visit the Royal Mews
One of the finest working stables in existence, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is home to the royal collection of historic coaches and carriages. The most dazzling of all the coaches on display is the Gold State Coach, used as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.
Visit Kensington Palace
The feminine influence of generations of royal women has shaped this stylish palace and elegant gardens. The palace first became a royal residence for William III and Mary II in 1689. The magnificent State Apartments showcase some breath-taking examples of the architect and painter William Kent’s work. This sumptuous series of rooms includes the Cupola Room where Princess Victoria was christened.
The palace is home to a unique archive of royal fashion from the 18th century to the present day. The Diana, Fashion and Style exhibition explores Princess Diana’s impact on fashion and her shift in style from a demure young princess to an international celebrity.
Take a late afternoon stroll through the Royal Parks
Take in the beauty and surroundings of London’s green spaces with an afternoon walk through St James’s Park and Green Park – both within easy reach of Kensington Palace. Other Royal Parks to explore include Hyde Park, Regent’s Park (which includes ZSL London Zoo), Greenwich Park and Richmond Park.
The Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain can be found in Hyde Park. This unique memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2004. The design reflects Diana’s life as the water flows from the highest point in two directions, cascading, swirling and bubbling before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. There are three bridges where visitors can cross the water and go right to the heart of the fountain.