Royal Childhood Exhibition at Buckingham Palace

Royal Childhood Exhibition at Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace has now opened its State Rooms to visitors for the 2014 summer season. An annual occurrence, the opening presents an excellent opportunity to tour one of the world's few royal palaces that's still in use as a royal residence while taking in the grandeur and living history of Britain's most famous home.

This summer, the opening of the State Rooms is coupled with Royal Childhood, a special exhibition giving “an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the royal family growing up at Buckingham Palace.” Spanning more than 250 years, the exhibition brings together objects from the Royal Collection, the Royal Archives and the private collections of members of the Royal Family including favorite toys, family gifts, and childhood outfits as well as previously unseen photographs and film footage.

This summer also marks another first as well. A new Family Pavilion situated on the West Terrace which overlooks Buckingham Palace Garden has been launched, offering visiting families a chance to find activities and games for all ages, based on the theme of the Royal Childhood exhibition along with opportunities to play dress up on a stage with costumes inspired by the tradition of royal pantomimes, ride a traditional rocking horse and write a personal message to The Queen on a retro chalkboard.

The State Rooms are the public rooms of the Palace, designed for monarchs to receive, reward and entertain subjects and visiting dignitaries. Today the State Rooms continue to be used by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions.

There are 19 of these rooms all together. They are furnished with many of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto, sculpture by Canova and lots (lots) more. Much of the interiors and what's on view reflect the tastes of George IV (reigned from 1820 to 1830) who commissioned architect John Nash to transform what was then known as “Buckingham House” into the royal palace that remains today.

The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to the public until Sunday the 28th of September. They are open daily 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admission 16:45) until the end of August and then daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 15:45) until the end of September. A typical visit lasts between two and two and a half hours.

The entrance to the State Rooms is located on Buckingham Palace Road (look for the big white tents). The nearest London Underground stations are at St James's Park, Hyde Park Corner, Victoria and Green Park (all about the same distance and walkable).

The Royal Childhood exhibition runs for the duration of the time that the State Rooms are open to the public.

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