Since 1993, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace have been open to the public every summer from August to September. Initially the Summer Opening was considered a way to pay for the damage at Windsor Castle caused by the fire in 1992, but it became so popular the Queen has continued to allow visitors every summer. And if you think you’ll get a chance to spot ol’ Liz, the Queen isn’t at Buckingham Palace as she heads to the hills of her country house during the opening.
The term ‘State Rooms’ is applied to those rooms at Buckingham Palace that are used extensively by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. The Palace’s 19 State Rooms predominantly reflect the taste George IV (1820-30), who commissioned the architect John Nash to transform what had previously been known as Buckingham House into a grand palace. Today the State Rooms are furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection including paintings by Rembrandt and Canaletto, sculptures by Canova, Sèvres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.
Many of the State Rooms have particular uses today. The Throne Room is used on very special occasions like Jubilees and was the setting for the formal photographs following the wedding of Kate and Wills.
The White Drawing Room, perhaps the grandest of all the State Rooms, serves as a royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before official occasions.