Buckingham Palace has opened to visitors this January – in a break of royal tradition

For the first time, King Charles III has opened the doors of his famous royal residence during the first two months of the year

Buckingham Palace
(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023 / Derry Moore)

In a break of tradition, King Charles has offered a rare look inside his London residence, Buckingham Palace, for the first two months of the year. 

The landmark home does not conventionally allow the public to tour the property in January and February; however, 2024 comes with an exception. The Royal Collection Trust announced that Buckingham Palace will open its doors every Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until 26 February 2024 – meaning we can experience its opulent interiors for ourselves.  

According to the Royal Collection Trust, the 1.5-hour guided tour will take visitors through State Rooms that have played host to internationally recognized events, including the State Dining Room, which played host to Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding reception in 2011. The tour also passes through the White Drawing Room (pictured below), where Queen Elizabeth II recorded some of her Christmas broadcasts.

The White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace

The White Drawing Room

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023 / Derry Moore)

As arguably the most famous royal residence of all, it is unsurprising that the rooms inside Buckingham Palace exhibit some of the grandest interiors globally. An important representation of Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian interior styles, the palace results from years of work from celebrated nineteenth-century architects, most notably John Nash and Sir Aston Webb. 

However, the building's history dates back to the reign of James I in the early 17th century, who launched a plantation of mulberries where the Buckingham Palace Gardens now stand. 

The Green Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace

The Green Drawing Room

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023)

In the centuries that followed, the palace evolved significantly from its original form. Most recently, the Royal Collection Trust notes that The Queen's Gallery was completely refurbished and expanded in 2002 to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee. 

The Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace

The Picture Gallery 

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2023)

Today, Buckingham Palace comprises 775 rooms –including 19 staterooms (many of which are explored during the door), 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. There is also an indoor swimming pool, a doctor's office, a chapel, and a movie theatre.

Despite its grandeur, however, it's worth noting that the palace is not King Charles and Queen Camilla's primary home. Instead, the monarchy continued to live in Clarence House, located only a stone's throw from the palace on The Mall. Clarence House allows visitors at specific points of the year; however, unlike Buckingham Palace, it remains closed for the coming weeks.

Buckingham Palace: A Royal Garden | $17.41 on Amazon

Buckingham Palace: A Royal Garden | $17.41 on Amazon

This volume serves as a guide to the garden, complete with specially commissioned photography. It allows you to follow 'along through the seasons' alongside the Palace’s Head Gardener, Mark Lane. The expert offers insights and tips from his many years of experience tending the magnificent garden and grounds

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.