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The Queen's away and the palace doors are unlocked


(photo: Visit London Limited)

By David Stewart White
July 1, 2010

Queen Elizabeth II normally retreats to Scotland during the late summer, but she leave the doors open at Buckingham Palace and invites the public to visit. This year, the palace will be open from July 27 through October 1. 

Tours of the Palace includes 19 state rooms–the ceremonial and official heart of Buckingham Palace–and a glimpse at the extensive gardens. A visit lasts about two hours and costs £17. Tickets can be booked online.

Visitors seeking a more upscale and behind-the-scenes Buckingham Palace experience can opt for an evening tour. The £65 guided tour is limited to 30 visitors and includes champagne, a guidebook, and discounts on royal merchandise.  Merchandising is an essential part of the Palace's opening. No crowns are for sale, but £75 buys a lovely tiara, while visitors can have a pair of Buckingham Palace bedroom slippers for under £10.