Queen Elizabeth is opening up the Buckingham Palace gardens for the first time

Royal Garden Party

The pandemic year was not kind to the British monarchy, and the Windsors, in turn, were not kind in general. They wandered around maskless, attending super-spreader events. The Other Brother hid his Covid diagnosis for months. The Queen was in very real danger of showing people just how useless she is, because she was unable to grimly perform her duties in public. I remember, a few months ago, one of those royal commentators suggested that the Queen might earn some goodwill if she opened up some of her private parks to the public. Well, she’s doing just that. And it’s still bonkers to me that this welfare queen gets to keep her extensive gardens all to herself in the middle of the damn city!

With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, the Royal Collection Trust announced this week that many of its stunning royal residences will soon be reopening to the public. Not only will visitors be able to peek inside some of the Royal Family’s favourite haunts, like Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but they’ll even be able to enjoy a picnic in the famous Buckingham Palace Gardens for the very first time.

Usually a treat reserved for the Queen and her guests, the public will be granted special access to the bucolic site this summer. The Royal Collection Trust announced: ‘Explore Buckingham Palace Garden with unprecedented freedom this summer, and discover for yourself for the very first time its sights before enjoying a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to picnic with views of the Palace. You will be free to wander around the garden’s winding paths at your own pace and experience the beauty and calm of this walled oasis in central London. Among the many features to discover are the 156-metre Herbaceous Border, the Horse Chestnut Avenue, the Plane trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the famous lake with its island that is home to the Buckingham Palace bees.’

The Garden will be open to visitors for its special summer season from 9 July to 19 September. If that seems too long to wait, however, guided tours will be on offer even sooner, during weekends from 17 April. Under the supervision of one of the Garden’s ‘expert wardens’, visitors ‘will be given special access to the whole 39-acre grounds in springtime, when the garden is at its fullest, with its meadows carpeted with primroses and bluebells, and its flowering camellias, magnolias and azaleas overflowing with blossoms.’

Guided tours will also resume in the Palace itself – taking in the majestic State Rooms, which encompasses the Ballroom, Throne Room, White Drawing Room, Music Room and more – from 17 April. The traditional opening of the State Rooms, however, which usually coincides with a special themed exhibition, has been cancelled for the second year running on account of the pandemic. Elsewhere, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland is set to reopen on 26 April and Windsor Castle from 17 May, while Royal Collection Trust shops in London will also reopen from 12 April.

[From Tatler]

It should be clear that this is absolutely a money-making scheme. BP is releasing a book about the palace and grounds and they’re charging people for entrance into the gardens. The idea of this lush, 39-acre paradise in the heart of London, accessible only to the Queen and her family, is insane to me. It’s equally insane that after all of these years, she’s suddenly opening the gardens up for picnics in a stab of relevancy and a plot to accumulate goodwill. The Windsors have absolutely been outed as desperados.

I’m including photos of the Queen and Charles at Windsor Castle just before Easter.

Official Pictures Of The Queen And The Prince of Wales

Henry Cavill

Photos courtesy of Chris Jackson/Getty (for Buckingham Palace) and Avalon Red.

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24 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth is opening up the Buckingham Palace gardens for the first time”

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  1. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    They are going to charge? The Governor Generals gardens in Ottawa here are gorgeous, and free. That’s a bummer. I’d totally fall for a gift shop with royal honey sold by the jar, though.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Yes, They are going charge admittance fees, hoping the revenue from touring the gardens will make-up the revenue lost due to limited tours of Buckingham Palace.

      In The USA, both the White House and Smithsonian Museum tours are FREE!

    • Celia456 says:

      Seems like an excellent opportunity to donate the money to covid relief. It’d be good PR

  2. Rapunzel says:

    I did a garden tour of BP last time I visited London. It’s an annual thing (pre Covid, at least). The new thing is the picnic. And maybe larger garden access, but the gardens were previously open.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I remember suggesting this back in the summer or maybe even earlier – that they should open up the palace gardens (I did not suggest charging admission though….) I know London has gorgeous parks, but this would make it something fun and different and be a fun story to pass down – the time you had a picnic at Buckingham Palace. It seems like a really easy PR win.

  4. equality says:

    If it’s true that the Queen doesn’t plan to reside at BP anymore, why not make it a full time thing like at other residences? I get the charging a fee if the money goes into crown estate funds to maintain the premises.

    • SarahCS says:

      Here’s a thought, abolish the monarchy and then open up all the palaces and gardens to the public.

      By all means charge a (reasonable) fee to cover upkeep and and extra cash goes to charitable causes – teaching city kids about growing things, sponsoring students learning about the arts or maintaining/restoring paintings and antiques.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        SarahCS, how about open up all of the palaces and charge. The gardens should be open to the public for FREE. Thre is money that is already available for the upkeep. I can’t help but think of people who can’t afford to pay entrance fees. They should be able to use the palace gardens.

  5. Mac says:

    They need the admissions, restaurant, and gift shop money. I’m guessing no outside food or drink will be permitted but picnic hampers will be on sale inside the garden.

    • Anance says:

      Well, the Queen is supporting Andrew from her private funds. So, this probably helps. BTW, I’m willing to guess that Andrew means Eugenie and Bea, too.

  6. Lauren says:

    Even the Japanese Imperial Gardens are free. The actual Imperial family lives on those grounds and they open up most of the gardens for free to the public. The Windsors are really something else.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      They really are. With little to no space in London, though I am I not from there as I looked extensively in London proper, there isn’t much in the way of large parks or green spaces, but small parks. Of course they are going to charge a fee!! There are buttons to be had!!!

      • Brittany says:

        London does have some large public parks. Regent’s Park is very big (410 acres), with the lovely Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. I enjoyed it a lot when I was in London.

      • lucy2 says:

        Regent’s Park is absolutely gorgeous!
        Hyde Park is huge and has a lot of nice public spaces too. St. James is a good size as well, and right near BP.
        I remember going into a beautiful walled garden at Kensington, but I don’t know if that’s open and free, or part of the tour we did.

        Most botanical gardens and estate gardens charge here in the US, so I don’t think it’s unusual to pay a small fee to go in.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        These are PUBLIC parks. I’ll say that again. These are PUBLIC PARKS!!! I don’t think anyone should have to pay to see them, when they’ve already paid for their upkeep. Charging for a palace tour I suppose makes sense, but not the park. By tcharging, They pretty much make sure that low income people can’t see the parks, right?

  7. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    I mean.. I’m not going to shade them for charging. To see special exhibits or certain parts of museums to get charged is a normal thing. At my local art museum 90% of it is free with $5 or $10 ticket prices for spricial galleries or garden tours. It’s not abnormal.

    I will shade them for doing this so close to when people are leaving their homes. I could see doing free admittance for like the first six months to a year so people who have been out of work or kids who have not been able to go on field trips can go for free.

  8. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    A nice distraction from her Jersey fiscal and pedophilia fuckery, I suppose.

  9. Anna222 says:

    Yep it is a money making scheme, and it’s targeting their own people, at a time when so many are struggling.

  10. Faye G says:

    How about abolishing the monarchy, and the public can access these grounds and palaces whenever they want? They’re been paying for it all along, they ought to reap the benefits!

  11. Over it says:

    They should open Kensington palace to all. So we can see when the helicopter travels

  12. Sansa says:

    this is such a money grab. have a donation option that goes toward first responders mental health, sure. and / or a paid guided tour where half the ticket cost goes to charity and first responders. parks should belong to the people.

  13. Win says:

    Here’s hoping the admission charge at Buckingham Palace goes toward its renovation costs which is going on right now. I Hear its costing millions of pounds!