King Charles is opening new doors to Royal palaces, including family's summer retreat, to public for first time


Balmoral Castle and Buckingham Palace are welcoming visitors in new ways, according to People.

It was revealed this week that both royal residences will welcome visitors into previously unseen spaces through ticketed tours this summer. In fact, Balmoral Castle in Scotland is opening "for the first time since the castle was completed in 1855," its website says.

Balmoral is famed as the royal family's cherished summer sanctuary in the Scottish Highlands, but it also holds sad memories for the group. Prince William and Prince Harry were spending time there in August 1997 when their mother, Princess Diana, tragically died in a car crash in Paris.

Queen Elizabeth, who her granddaughter Princess Eugenie once said was "most happy" at Balmoral, died there in 2022. Sources told PEOPLE at the time it was fitting she spend her last hours there because it was such a special place for her and her family — and now, the public can step into the castle in Aberdeenshire for themselves.

The Castle Internal Guided Tours experience is touted as a "historical journey" through "several of the beautiful rooms," comprised of a private guide that talks visitors through its history from acquisition by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1845 to a peek at how King Charles, Queen Camilla and other royal family members continue to use the space today.

The royal family has previously permitted tours at Balmoral around the grounds and gardens, but access inside the castle was limited to the ballroom, making the Castle Internal Guided Tours the most intimate yet.

The tours are set to run from July 1 to August 4, capped at 10 people per session. The general guided excursion currently costs about $126 a person, while tickets with afternoon tea are about $189 — and are open to adults only.

While Buckingham Palace has been a popular stop for royal watchers since 1993 when Queen Elizabeth opened its gates as a fundraiser after a devastating fire ripped through Windsor Castle in 1992, new areas of the famous London residence will be available to tour for the first time this year.

The East Wing of Buckingham Palace, where the King filmed his Christmas broadcast in December 2023, will be toured for the first time come summer. On April 3, the Royal Collection Trust announced that the iconic palace will open the wing via the Principal Floor following five years of restorative work.

The Royal Collection Trust said that the royal family still uses the wing today for official meetings and events.

Royal watchers can save the date for East Wing Highlights Tours held daily in July and August starting July 15, booked in addition to standard admission to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

The palace will be open seven days a week in July and August for the first time since 2019 before scaling back to five days a week in September.

While Buckingham Palace is synonymous with the British royals and serves as the hub of the monarchy’s operations, King Charles and Queen Camilla don’t actually live there! The palace is in the middle of a $460 million renovation reportedly not due to be complete until 2027.

As King Charles, 75, invites the public into new nooks for the first time this summer, The Times cited royal biographer Robert Hardman’s prediction that the King would open up Balmoral during his reign.

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