Buckingham Palace chosen by children as the first Google virtual-reality school visit in the UK

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Buckingham Palace is the first UK landmark to be part of an innovative VR (virtual-reality) project with Google designed specially for schools.  The Google Expeditions app allows teachers to take their students on a virtual field trip to the Palace from any classroom in the world, giving them a taste of what more than 60,000 of The Queen's guests and over 500,000 visitors to the Summer Opening of the Palace see each year.
 
Google Expeditions draws on Google's strengths in VR and education technology to provide an immersive experience for students.  Expeditions are collections of linked VR content and supporting materials that make them easy to integrate into classroom learning.

The Buckingham Palace Expedition takes you on a tour of some of the Palace's State Rooms, simulating the experience of walking through the rooms and seeing the works of art from the Royal Collection that furnish them.  Starting at the Grand Staircase, students learn about the history of the Palace as a royal residence, before discovering how the State Rooms are used today by The Queen for official events.

The Google Expeditions app includes more than 150 trips to extraordinary locations around the world, from the White House and Great Barrier Reef, to Mount Fuji and the Borneo rainforest. Buckingham Palace was selected in response to requests from thousands of schoolchildren, who chose it as the number-one destination that they wanted to visit.

Jemima Rellie, Director of Content and Audiences, Royal Collection Trust, said, 'For schoolchildren, Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic, magical buildings in the world. We're terrifically excited that, thanks to the VR potential of Google Expeditions, children, their teachers and families can visit the Palace, wherever they live.'

To accompany the Expedition, a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace with audio is available to view here.  To experience the tour in VR (virtual-reality) or 360 format, view through the YouTube app on a smartphone.