Royal Jubilee Days Out
Published on: 23/05/22
The whole country will be bowing to Jubilee Fever this week, as The Queen celebrates 70 gracious- sometimes turbulent- years on the throne. From Buckingham Palace to Balmoral, William the Conqueror through Henry the Eighth to Queen Elizabeth II, Britain is packed with royal history and heritage. Throw in centuries of mayhem, machinations, and marriages, and the Royal family has added unique colour, pomp and intrigue to our country.
Yet it’s something we can easily take for granted, missing out on fabulous grand palaces, ceremonies, collections and culture right on our doorstep. With Royal tourism earning the country an estimated £550 million per year, someone’s got the message, so don’t make the mistake of thinking “it’s just for tourists”: get out there and enjoy a Right Royal Day out!
Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Said to be the Queen’s favourite Royal Residence, and one that’s become largely her permanent home in recent years, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Start your visit with a free 30-minute historical tour of the Castle Precincts led by Wardens, then tour the State Apartments, replete with world-famous artefacts and artworks, including the priceless Queen Mary’s dolls’ house.
Picture yourself at a state banquet in the grand Great Hall, or attending a Royal Wedding in St George’s Chapel, before enjoying spectacular views of the 4,800 acre Great Park and surrounding countryside from Henry VIII’s North Terrace. With a calendar of Jubilee events, June is the perfect month to visit, but don’t worry, the castle is open to visitors all year round, and with the Queen now spending most of her private weekends there, it’s worth keeping an eye out for her sitting by a window, strolling in the gardens, or horse-riding in Windsor Great Park!
The majestic setting for the Queen’s magnificent coronation in 1953, Westminster Abbey stands at the heart of British constitutional and Royal life. The coronation church since 1066, with the stones of the current Abbey originally laid by Henry III in 1245, people still worship every day at Westminster Abbey, surrounded by more than ten centuries of British history. Step into this stunning building in the heart of London and be propelled through time.
The Abbey is celebrating the Jubilee with stories and events throughout 2022 and 2023, the 70th anniversary of the coronation, but as the resting place of more than 3,000 great Britons, including 17 monarchs, there’s more to London's most storied religious building than kings and queens. Explore the fascinating history and drama behind statesmen and soldiers, poets, priests, heroes and villains on a self-guided audio tour. One of the most important Gothic buildings of England, marvel at the soaring Gothic architecture, and explore the treasury of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles, books and monumental sculptures.
The much-loved country retreat of the Queen, Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. When Her Majesty’s not in residence, you can tour the ground floor rooms regularly used by the Queen herself, where the contents and decoration have been kept as they were in Edwardian times. Marvel at magnificent artworks, silver, enamel and porcelain, mixed with more intimate items which give a glimpse into family life, such as personal gifts and family portraits, and examples from the fleet of Royal cars. A special Jubilee exhibition, Her Majesty the Queen at Sandringham, is at the house until autumn 2022.
Outside, Sandringham’s sixty acres of gardens have been described as the finest of all the Royal Gardens, including a romantic summerhouse, rockery, grotto, and scenic valley which directs water from natural springs into the two lakes. Free to enter, the wider Sandringham Park extends to 600 tree and wildlife-filled acres- perfect for walking off that Jubilee picnic!
The Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh
Standing at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. A gem undiscovered by many visitors with their eyes set on Edinburgh Castle or Balmoral, discover its close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was also the setting for many dramatic episodes in the short reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Explore 14 magnificent historic and State Apartments, used regularly by The Queen for State ceremonies and official entertaining. Wander the romantic ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey, and remarkable royal gardens at your own pace, accompanied by a complimentary multimedia tour. The Queen’s Gallery, located within the Palace, hosts changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection featuring old master paintings, rare furniture, decorative arts and photographs. Jubilee-themed events and activities, including things for children, are running throughout 2022 at this fascinating Royal home.