LONDON.- The Royal Collection will be at World Travel Market as part of the Heritage in Britain group to launch next year’s special exhibitions and an exciting new programme of group visits to the Official Residences of The Queen. Announced to coincide with World Travel Market, guided tours of the famous garden at Buckingham Palace will be available for the first time ever next year. The 40-acre garden has always played an important role in the private and public lives of the royal family, and is today the setting for The Queen’s Garden Parties. Described as ‘a walled oasis in the middle of London’, it boasts more than 350 types of wild flower, over 200 trees and a three-acre lake. The tours will be available to pre-booked groups on selected dates in April, May and June.
The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace next year includes an exhibition of dazzling dresses and spectacular jewels worn by
Her Majesty The Queen on official visits to Commonwealth countries. The exhibition celebrates the 60th anniversary of the London Declaration of 1949, which recognised the British Sovereign as Head of the Commonwealth. A selection of gifts presented to Her Majesty by Commonwealth leaders, individuals and organisations will also be included in the exhibition.
Launched in 2008, a limited number of private guided tours of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are now available in January and April, when The Queen is in residence at Sandringham and Windsor. The tours offer a unique opportunity to see the Palace when it is closed to visitors.
Clarence House, the official residence of Their Royal Highnesses
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, is a favourite choice for groups. For the first time ever, exclusive private tours of this historic royal home will be offered in 2009. After a tour with an expert guide, groups can enjoy refreshments and a view of the enchanting garden.
Voted Best UK Attraction in the Group Leisure Awards 2008, Windsor Castle will next year host an exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of
Henry VIII’s accession to the throne. Bringing together objects from the Royal Collection and the St George’s Chapel archives, it will examine the life of the monarch through some of the most important and beautiful objects to survive from his reign. The Royal Collection has teamed up with Historic Royal Palaces to offer a great-value combined visit to Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace for the duration of the exhibition, which opens in April and continues throughout the year.
Group discounts, special private visits and talks are offered at The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh. New exhibitions for next year include The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life (Edinburgh, 27 March – 20 September 2009), Sèvres: French Porcelain in the Royal Collection (London, 23 May – 11 October 2009) and The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography (Edinburgh, 2 October 2009 – 11 April 2010).
Combine a visit to the highly acclaimed exhibition Bruegel to Rubens: Masters of Flemish Painting at The Queen’s Galley, Buckingham Palace with Van Dyck and Britain, Tate Britain’s forthcoming exhibition about the great royal portrait painter, which includes important loans by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.