The Queen opens the gardens of Buckingham Palace to the public

(CNN) – Lovers of green fingers will be able to roam freely in the gardens of London’s historic Buckingham Palace this summer, as Queen Elizabeth II for the first time in the palace’s history allows independent sightseeing.
The 39-acre palace gardens – which is the Queen’s official residence in London – will allow visitors to pay for a tour of the garden and a picnic on its “swept lawns” from July to September.

Access to some parts of the garden was previously included as part of tours of Buckingham Palace, but visitors will now be able to explore the much larger area, the Royal Collection Trust told CNN on Thursday.

Members of the public will be able to enjoy the rare flora and fauna and meadows “covered with primroses and bells … flowering shrubs and camellia, magnolia and azalea trees,” the Royal Collection Trust said in a press release.

The current landscape design dates back to the 1820s when, at the behest of King George IV, Buckingham House first became a palace, the Royal Collection Trust said.

Inside the gardens one can see a striking herbaceous border of 156 meters.

John Campbell / Trust Royal Collections / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

The history of the site dates back to the reign of James I, who was believed to have grown silkworms there. The building itself was originally built in 1705 as a large house before being expanded into a palace.

It contains a collection of mulberries and a range of “rare indigenous plants rarely seen in London,” including a 156-foot herbaceous border and trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and named after them.

Views of the large lake and the beehives of the palace can also be taken on independent tours.

Meanwhile, guided garden tours will offer access to the southwest garden, which features a summer house, rose garden and wildflower meadow.

In line with easing some restrictions on coronavirus locking in England, excursions will also be offered inside Buckingham Palace itself between May and September.

The rose garden and the mansion can be seen as part of the guided tours.

The rose garden and the mansion can be seen as part of the guided tours.

John Campbell / Trust Royal Collections / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021

These tours, the Royal Collection Trust said, will give visitors access to the palace’s “magnificent” rooms, which are equipped with “some of the Royal Collection’s greatest treasures,” including “the finest English and French furniture in the world” and “exquisite” porcelain and artwork.

For those unable to visit Buckingham Palace in person, live guides will also be streamed live over the summer from Buckingham Palace, as well as from Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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