A perfect year to explore Buckingham Palace
It is rather a patriotic time for the UK, with the London 2012 Olympics taking the nation by storm last year, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee also in 2012, the 60th anniversary of the coronation at the start of this month and a royal baby on the way extremely soon. Therefore, there really could be no better time to visit the world-famous and absolutely stunning Buckingham Palace - home of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Every year, tens of thousands of visitors pour through the doors of this magnificent building to marvel at its interior, which many only admire from behind the railings at the end of the Mall.
Therefore, all those staying in central London hotels who fancy a peek behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace are urged to book a tour around the State rooms, which will take about two to two-and-a-half hours. It could be the perfect thing to do with the family as under-fives get in for free, making it a great way to do something fun with kids that would also be informative and educational.
Standing at 108 metres across the front, 120 metres deep and 24 metres high, the palace is arguably one of the most impressive buildings in London - and certainly one of the most iconic.
With 19 State rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms, it is far from a decorative relic. Buckingham Palace is not a museum nor an art gallery; it is a working palace in which the Queen, the Royal Family and various officials all go about their daily business of running a monarchical institution.
For those adults that fancy it, there will also be the opportunity to go on an exclusive after-hours tour of the palace - glass of champagne in hand and with an expert guide leading the way. A copy of the guidebook and 20 per off in the shop will also be included as part of the price, not only rendering people's visit truly unforgettable but also giving them the opportunity to take away a memento at a discount price.
At the end of next month (July 27th), a special exhibition will also be opening to commemorate the anniversary of the coronation. Visitors will be given the chance to get up close to uniforms and robes worn by the royal party on the historic day, as well as admire art and artefacts that played a part in it.