For a smashing family activity, let’s take an online trip “across the pond” for a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace.
Originally a stately townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705, the building was expanded into a palace in the 19th century and became the official royal home when Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837. An online tour of Buckingham Palace is a great learning activity because of the culture, tradition and history associated with the Royal Palace.
Interesting and enchanting, this is a virtual field trip that all ages will enjoy. So make a nice spot of tea and gather the family around the computer—we’re going to drop in on the Royal Family.
Interactive Exploration of Buckingham Palace
We’ll begin our trip with a visit to the Official Website of the British Monarchy. This is a top-quality site with excellent information about Buckingham Palace and its history. You'll find links to pages about the Queen, the crown jewels, royal events and an interactive timeline of the monarchy.
Don’t forget to visit the video gallery to see clips about the Buckingham Palace gardens, official receptions, and historic artwork.
Virtual Tour of Buckingham Palace
Now it’s time for the highlight of our trip—a magnificent 360 degree panoramic tour of the Royal Palace! Just choose the room that you’d like to visit and you’ll be taken, virtually, to that location.
You can move around each room by using your mouse. Scroll up to see the brilliant chandeliers or down to view the lavish carpets. There is also a zoom feature to let you get a close up look at the extraordinary furnishings in the palace. Prepare to be dazzled!
The Royal Family
Although we haven't seen any of the Royals in the palace yet, don’t worry; we’ll catch up with them now.
The United Kingdom’s Royal Family are all close relatives of Elizabeth the Second, the Queen of England. They are all members, by birth or marriage, of the ruling House of Windsor. The Windsor Family Tree is a web page of the Royal’s family line that reveals their lineage all the way down from Queen Victoria.
For more information about the different members of the Royal Family, visit:
The Changing of the Guard
The Queen’s Guard is the red uniformed infantry that protects Buckingham Palace. Visit the Guard Museum to learn about the five Foot Guard Regiments and their traditions. The changing of the Guard is the famous ceremony that takes place outside of Buckingham Palace. Over two million people watch it each year.
When is the Changing of the Guard? is an informative article about this formal parade and tips for travelers who are planning to attend it.
If a trip to London isn’t in your near future, you can watch a video clip of the ceremonial march at Changing of the Guard.
Jolly Good Internet Sites
We’re not done yet! There are some excellent online sites available to learn even more about Buckingham palace. The Royal Palace opens to the public in the summer.
If you’re thinking about visiting, read Buckingham Palace Visitor Information or Buckingham Annual Summer Opening for helpful information about tickets, hours, transportation and exhibitions.
Finally, the House of Windsor is a very good website with more facts about the Royals and links to their photo galleries.
Suggested Websites for Further Information
- The Queen's Gallery
- Top 10 London Attractions
- Changing of the Guard Review