Queen Elizabeth II is reopening the Buckingham Palace Gardens to the public, after it remained closed for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this time the visitors will have a unique and unprecedented experience.
For the first time, the public will get a chance to explore by themselves and have a picnic in the gardens of the Queen's London residence, as the traditional summer opening was cancelled for a second time this year, reports The Guardian.
The Royal Collection Trust (RCT), which manages the public opening of the Queen's official residences, announced that self-guided tours of the 39-acre landscaped grounds will be on offer from July to September. A visitor route has been especially made for the tour, which will encompass the 156-metre herbaceous border, as well as plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The gardens, once known as Goring Great Garden, are a Grade II listed property. Its area is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west, and the Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery, and Buckingham Palace itself to the south and east. It also includes a summerhouse, a helicopter pad, and a tennis court.
The garden, which has been the venue of countless garden parties and rare jubilee concerts, is also home to more than 1,000 trees, including a mulberry dating to James I of England, and a 19th-century lake. Most of these views will be open for the public, while picnics will be allowed on one of the sweeping lawns. Features in the southwest of the garden, including the rose garden, summer house, and wildflower meadow can also be viewed through guided tours.
The gardens' summer opening will run from July 9 to September 19. The public will be able to visit in springtime as well, on weekends in April and May with guided tours to view the primroses, bluebells, flowering camellia, magnolia and azalea shrubs in bloom. Special guided tours of the palace's State Rooms will also be available.
Windsor Castle, where the 94-year-old monarch and her husband Prince Philip have been staying for much of the pandemic, will also start to welcome visitors in May.