Spring tours of Buckingham Palace among a host of new group visits announced by the Royal Collection

Release date: 
Tuesday, 30 October 2007

The Royal Collection will be at World Travel Market to launch next year’s special exhibitions and the exciting new programme of group visits to the Official Residences of The Queen. Among the many choices on offer in their groups brochure for 2008 are Private Guided Tours of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, available for the very first time in March and April, when Her Majesty The Queen is in residence at Sandringham and Windsor.

Opening in May, an exhibition at Windsor Castle celebrates the 60th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The delightful displays bring together photographs, books and charming memorabilia from the Royal Collection and items from His Royal Highness’s personal archive. The choice of objects reflects many of The Prince’s interests, especially music, theatre and the arts, and includes a small group of watercolours painted by His Royal Highness. To make the most of their visit, groups can book a talk about the exhibition by a member of the Royal Collection staff.

Perennially popular with groups, the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace offers something new every season. Next year, for the first time ever, visitors will be able to experience the spectacle of the Ballroom set up for a State Banquet. The horseshoe-shaped table traditionally used on such occasions will be dressed with a dazzling display of silver-gilt from the magnificent Grand Service, first used to celebrate the birthday of George III in 1811. Lavish buffet arrangements of jewelled cups, ivory tankards and chased dishes, sconces, shields and basins will be arranged along each side of the room.

New Private Tours for Groups

Private Guided Tours of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will now be available in March and April, in addition to the traditional Summer Opening dates in August and September.

For groups with a particular interest in art and architecture, a number of special-interest tours have been introduced at Windsor Castle. Led by a curator from the Royal Collection, they include Charles II at Windsor Castle: Creating ‘The English Versailles’, ‘Gilt and Gorgeousness’: George IV at Windsor Castle, Fire and Restoration 1992-97 and English Portrait Painting.

The private royal residence of Frogmore, which nestles in the beautiful landscape of Windsor’s Home Park, will open for evening tours during August and September and on Saturdays for the first time.

New Combined Visits for Groups

The Royal Collection has joined forces with a number of other attractions to offer several interesting joint group visits in 2008.

Indulge your green fingers and visit the highly acclaimed exhibition Amazing Rare Things, co-curated by Sir David Attenborough, which comes to The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace in March 2008. Then go on a special Plant Explorers tour at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and hear about the adventures of the great plant-collectors from the 18th century to the present day, as your guide points out the exotic species brought back from their travels around the world.

Experience two fascinating attractions that are living parts of Britain’s heritage in a combined visit to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace and the new Household Cavalry Museum. Groups can book guided tours of both locations and, by special arrangement, meet a serving officer of the Household Cavalry Regiments. This package offers a fascinating insight into work of those who serve Her Majesty The Queen, whether on grand ceremonial occasions or on active service overseas.

Following the enormous popularity of the joint visit with Frogmore House, the Royal Collection has teamed up with the Savill Garden again and added Windsor Castle as a new combination for 2008.

Come and visit the Royal Collection at:

World Travel Market: 12-15 November 2007, Hall S8, stand UKI5150
Excursions, a one-day group travel exhibition: Alexandra Palace
12 January 2008
British Travel Trade Fair: NEC Birmingham 11-12 March 2008
Tourism South East’s Group Travel Fairs 2008:
Arundel Castle 9 February and Port Lympne 23 February 2008
Visit Scotland Expo 2008: Aberdeen 16 and 17 April 2008

For further information, to receive a copy of the new Group Visits and Private Tours brochure or to make a booking, please visit www.royalcollection.org.uk or call the Group and Specialist Sales team on 020 7766 7321.

Press information and photographs are available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020 7839 1377, e-mail: press@royalcollection.org.uk.