Buckingham Palace will open a new area to visitors for the first time this summer, as guided tours begin in July.

For the first time, visitors will be able to set foot in The East Wing, which encompasses the front façade of the historic building and features the central balcony, where the Monarch and members of the Royal Family have gathered for public appearances during special occasions or historic moments since 1851.

Access to the area has been made possible by the conclusion of more than five years of improvement works, part of the Buckingham Palace Reservicing Programme to upgrade the historic building’s infrastructure and improve access.

The Principal Room in the East Wing of Buckingham Palace (Peter Smith)

Led by guides, small groups of visitors will be able to visit rooms first occupied by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children and still used by the Royal Family today for official meetings and events.

Added between 1847 and 1849, the East Wing enclosed what had previously been an open, horseshoe-shaped courtyard, following George IV’s conversion of Buckingham House into a Palace to the designs of John Nash.

Tours will take visitors through rooms and spaces including the Principal Corridor, which runs the length of the Wing, where paintings by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Franz Xaver Winterhalter are on display.

The tours coincide with the Palace opening for seven days a week during July and August for the first time since 2019, returning to five days a week during September.

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