Have you ever wanted to get a look at the Queen's back garden? Well, now's your time to strike as Buckingham Palace is opening its gardens to the public for the very first time. The lawns will be open both to picnics and self-guided tours from today.
Demand has been so high that extra tickets have been made available over the course of the summer. Members of the public can enjoy a picnic on the famous lawns and pre-book tours around some of the most beautiful flower gardens, including the Rose Garden, wildflower meadows, and summer house.
The area open to the public and where the tours will take place encompasses the 156-meter Herbaceous Border, plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Horse Chestnut Avenue, and views of the island and its beehives across the enormous lake.
Yesterday, members of the public entered the garden for the first official photos to be taken. Guests set up picnic blankets and ate some lunch, while others strolled in the picturesque scenery.
There are even more events on offer, including talks from the garden wardens and family trails. There are even arts and crafts activities available for the kids, plus a Family Festival spanning August 26th to 30th.
And to commemorate the historic occasion, the Royal Collection Trust has launched a picnic-inspired collection of merch. Fans can purchase a picnic blanket, a sandwich bag, hand sanitizer, cotton napkins, and a reusable water bottle. Each of the items features an exclusive design inspired by royal ceremonies and summer flowers.
Visitors can also enjoy some edible treats fit for a queen. These include Strawberry and Marc de Champagne Preserve, and a tin of Buckingham Palace orange and lemon shortbread.
"It's an offer that we've never offered before. It's an exciting prospect to allow people to come in and picnic in the gardens and explore to their own leisure," said Adam, twenty-five, a visitor services warden for the Royal Collection, as per the Daily Mail. "We're sort of in an oasis within the center of London so not many people realize it's here or how big it is either. It's the largest private garden in London, so I feel like we've got lots of secrets to tell people."
Sally Goodsir, the Royal Collection's curator of decorative arts, agreed, saying, "We sadly haven't been able to open the staterooms this year because of the current situation as we might ordinarily have done and therefore it's wonderful to be able to open the garden instead."
The garden will be open every day of the week, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from July 9th until September 19th. Tickets are available here and are £16.50 (around $23) per person, while guided tours are priced at an additional £6.50 ($9).