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Press release

Buckingham Palace Garden opens to visitors this summer

Release date: Thursday, 8 July 2021

The Buckingham Palace Garden viewed from across the lake.

The Buckingham Palace Garden viewed across the 3.5 acre lake. Photographer John Campbell

The garden at Buckingham Palace opens to visitors tomorrow (Friday, 9 July) until September, allowing the grounds of Her Majesty The Queen’s official London residence to be explored through a self-guided tour for the first time. Following exceptional demand, additional tickets have been made available on dates throughout July to September.

Visitors will be free to explore a route through the garden that encompasses the 156-metre Herbaceous Border, plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and views of the island and its beehives across the 3.5-acre lake. The unique opportunity to enjoy a picnic on one of the sweeping lawns will be part of the visit. Features in the south-west of the garden, including the Rose Garden, summer house and wildflower meadow, can be viewed through one of the guided tours that will run each day.

The current landscape of the historic 39-acre garden dates back to the 1820s when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace. Despite its urban location, the garden is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare native plants seldom seen in London. The garden is a rich biodiverse habitat, with more than 1,000 trees, the National Collection of Mulberry Trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses. It is also home to several botanicals used to make Buckingham Palace Gin, including lemon verbena, hawthorn berries, bay leaves and mulberry leaves.

Daily talks by Visitor Services Wardens and trails for families are included as part of the visit. Art and craft activities will be available in locations throughout the garden for visitors with children on Mondays in July and August (from 19 July) and as part of two Family Festival days on 26 and 30 August, where Warden-led family tours will also be available.

A new range of summertime products has been launched to mark the opening of the garden to the public. Featuring a design inspired by royal ceremonies and summer flowers, items include a picnic blanket, cotton napkins, a reusable water bottle and a sandwich bag. Strawberry and champagne jam and buttery shortbread biscuits can be enjoyed during picnics at Buckingham Palace, in the park, or at home.  

Ends


Buckingham Palace Garden facts and figures:

  • In 1762 Queen Charlotte established a menagerie in the garden. It included an elephant, monkeys and one of the first zebras ever seen in England.
  • Since 2000 the garden has held the National Collection of Mulberries. Mulberry trees were first planted in the garden by James I in 1608.
  • Traditionally, The Queen hosts three Garden Parties a year at Buckingham Palace. Each is attended by 8,000 guests, who consume around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake.
  • Since 2008 the island in the lake has been home to five beehives, which produce around 160 jars of honey a year for use in the royal kitchens.
  • There are more than 1,000 trees in the garden, including 98 plane trees, 85 different species of oak and 40 different types of mulberry tree.
  • The Rose Garden contains 25 beds of roses. Each bed is planted with 60 rose bushes of a different variety, and no two adjacent beds are of a similar colour.
  • The garden’s Waterloo Vase weighs an estimated 19 tonnes and is an impressive 5.5m (18ft) tall. It was commissioned by the French Emperor Napoleon in anticipation of his success in battle, but after his defeat at Waterloo in 1815 it was presented to the future George IV.
  • A Recycling Centre was established in the garden in 1991 at The Queen’s request. It recycles 99% of all green waste from London’s royal gardens.
  • The white helleborine, a native orchid whose numbers are declining, was discovered growing in the garden in 2013. It had not previously been seen in London since 1900.
  • The garden’s meadows, which were once grazed by cows and goats, are now home to more than 320 different types of wildflowers and grasses.
  • The garden plays host to more than 50 types of bird each year, of which 30 are resident, and is home to 300 different types of beetle.

The Garden at Buckingham Palace will open from Friday, 9 July to Sunday, 19 September 2021. Tickets are priced at £16.50 for adults. Garden Highlights Guided Tours should be booked with the main ticket and are priced at £6.50 for adults. Tours will run 12 times a day.

Visitor information and tickets: www.rct.uk, +44 (0)303 123 7300. Pre-booking is essential. The Garden at Buckingham Palace will open five days a week, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A selection of images is available to download from mediaselect.pa.media. Further images, including photos of people picnicking in the garden, will be available after 14:00 BST on Thursday, 8 July following a press photo call.

For further information, please contact the Royal Collection Trust Press Office, +44 (0)20 7839 1377, [email protected].

Twitter: @RCT Instagram: @royalcollectiontrust Facebook: @royalcollectiontrust

Press release - Buckingham Palace Garden opens to visitors this summer
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