The Room Behind the Iconic Buckingham Palace Balcony is Opening to The Public for the First Time

Each summer Buckingham Palace opens to tourists, offering a glimpse into the lives and work of royals past and present. And this year, for the first time, visitors will be able to get a behind-the-scenes-view of those iconic balcony appearances.

Buckingham Palace’s East Wing will be open to the public for special guided tours during July and August. The tours will include the Centre Room, which leads out on to the balcony and, as such, is where the family gathers before and after balcony appearances. Tourists will not, however, be able to stand on the balcony itself.

“Led by expert guides, small groups of visitors will be able to visit spectacular rooms on the Principal Floor, furnished with highlights from the Royal Collection,” the Royal Collection Trust said in a statement. “Visitors will discover the history of the Wing, first occupied by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children and still used by the Royal Family today for official meetings and events.”

It was Prince Albert who suggested to architect Edward Blore that a balcony be added when Buckingham Palace’s East Wing was created. Queen Victoria then became the first royal to step onto it during the Great Exhibition in 1851, starting the great royal tradition of balcony appearances.

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Queen Elizabeth II made her final appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the end of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Royals have waved from the Palace balcony over the decades for occasions such as weddings, jubilees and, perhaps most memorably, during VE Day in 1945. Balcony appearances have come to be symbolic of the royal family’s connection with the public. Particularly poignant was Queen Elizabeth’s final appearance during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022 when she was unable to make many of the festivities but still managed to wave from the balcony to the crowds.

Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a 10-year refurbishment which is costing the British public £369 million. The extensive work includes replacing cabling, plumbing, and heating. It commenced in 2017.

The Royal Collection Trust says that a limited number of East Wing Highlights tours will run daily in July and August and must be booked in addition to the standard State Rooms admission ticket. For more information visit

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