How to enjoy virtual tours of the Royal Family’s palaces

Annie Goldsmith
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From Town & Country

If you have ever wanted to explore behind-the-scenes in Buckingham Palace or peek down the corridors of Windsor Castle, you can now get a bit closer to fulfilling your wish as many of the Royal Family’s palaces and castles are offering extensive virtual tours.

Buckingham Palace

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It makes the most sense to start with Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence and the Royal Family’s headquarters. The capital’s grand palace also hosts a variety of special events, including jubilees, weddings and the annual Trooping the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday. Buckingham Palace welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, and you could be one without leaving your home.

The Palace’s virtual tour includes the opulent Grand Staircase, the White Drawing Room, the vibrant red Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room.

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Windsor Castle

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While you may not have been invited to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, you can imagine being there while touring the venue. Windsor Castle has been a Royal home and fortress for more than 900 years. When Royal weddings are not occurring, the castle acts as the Queen’s home – where she usually spends the weekend – and as a Royal residence where she performs certain official duties.

With this virtual tour, you can start by going inside a traditional State Banquet in St George’s Hall; then visit the Waterloo Chamber and the Crimson Drawing Room. Make sure to click on the ‘i’ icons for even more information about each space.

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The Palace of Holyroodhouse

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If you want something with a bit of Scottish flair, take a look at the Queen’s official residence in Scotland: the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Located in Edinburgh, it was the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots, starting from the 16th century. This palace hosts visitors throughout the year, and is available for your own personal viewing online through this virtual tour.

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The Tower of London

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While no one currently lives in the Tower of London, the building is technically a castle and is officially known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. Founded in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, the fortress has been used as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England and, most commonly, a prison. The Tower is now largely a tourist attraction and a place to display the Crown Jewels.

Take a virtual tour, which includes photos of many of these precious jewels, here.

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10 Downing Street

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Not quite a Royal residence, but a very important venue in the running of the country: Google Arts & Culture offers a virtual tour of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Casually referred to as Number 10, the home is over 300 years old and has approximately 100 rooms. Number 10 was first used when King George II offered it to Sir Robert Walpole in 1732, the de facto first British Prime Minister, so it certainly has Royal ties.

On your virtual tour, you can explore the Cabinet Room, the Study and the Grand Staircase. Each area also has accompanying informational videos, so you can really brush up on your British political history as you peruse.

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