buckingham palace

How you can still visit royal palaces during coronavirus lockdown

No travelling required to see the Queen's home!

Sharnaz Shahid

From socially distancing yourself to working from home, staying in has never been more important. However, there will be a time when you will need to take your mind off recent events as the coronavirus outbreak continues across the globe. Why not explore somewhere new? Royal fans, in particular, are given the opportunity to catch an intimate glimpse inside the Queen's residence Buckingham Palace. Although the iconic royal palace is typically preserved for guests and paying visitors, anyone can get a peek inside the landmark from the comfort of their own home with Google's virtual tour.

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A picture of inside the Palace Ballroom

Buckingham Palace

The online virtual reality experience takes viewers into some of the palace's lavishly decorated rooms including the state rooms, which provide the setting for ceremonial occasions, and the ballroom, where investiture ceremonies are carried out by the Queen and other senior royals. Starting at the Grand Staircase, the tour gives an insight into the history of the palace, as well as offering a 360⁰ view of the landmark's ornate décor and incredible artwork. The tour continues through the Throne Room, the Picture Gallery and the Ballroom, before concluding in The White Drawing Room – where a secret door leads to the Queen's private apartments.

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Jemima Rellie, Director of Content and Audiences, Royal Collection Trust, previously said: "For schoolchildren, Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic, magical buildings in the world. We're terrifically excited that, thanks to the VR potential of Google Expedition, children, their teachers and families can visit the palace, wherever they live." The virtual Buckingham Palace experience can be viewed on The British Monarchy YouTube channel.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse

As well as Buckingham Palace, you can also take a tour of the Queen's official residence in Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Here the monarch plays host to locals from all walks of life during Investitures, Garden Parties and other events. Open to the public year round, visitors can explore the history and significance of this magnificence of this imposing building just as you can now via our virtual tours. From seeing the Grand Stair, you can also access the other rooms such as the Morning Drawing Room and the Royal Dining Room.

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Windsor Castle

If you enjoy these tours, why not explore the walls of Windsor Castle – the place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot as well as Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. The Queen tends to use the Castle both as a private home, where she usually spends the weekend, and as an official Royal residence at which she undertakes certain formal duties from Investitures to State Visits. Although, Windsor Castle is open to the public and visitors, the virtual tour is certainly one of a kind. The first tour is of a traditional State Banquet in St George's Hall, from which you can access the other rooms such as the Waterloo Chamber and the Crimson Drawing Room.

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Aerial view of Holyrood Palace

Other European Palaces

But why stop at the British palaces? You can also visit The Palace of Versailles in Paris, The Royal Palace in Stockholm and Amsterdam's Royal Palace without leaving your sofa! Travel expert Nicky Kelvin, from The Points Guy UK, tells HELLO!: "While all of Europe’s royal palaces have closed due to safety measures that have recently been implemented, you are still able to take a virtual tour of Europe’s most incredible palaces from your living room."

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The outside of Windsor Castle

He adds: "My personal favourite is the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, this palace started off as a humble town hall, but this all changed when King Louis Bonaparte arrived in 1808 and transformed the building into a royal home. Today this palace is notorious for its exquisite collection of furniture, sculptures and marble galleries. Whilst this palace is truly spectacular in the flesh thanks to the lush tulips surrounding the outside, this virtual tour also captures the magic of the luxurious interior!"

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