Buckingham Palace visitors to get state treatment

Visitors to Buckingham Palace will be given dignitary treatment as part of the new Royal Welcome attraction.
The visitor experience will allow tourists going to the residence – the official home of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth – to enter the state rooms via the grand entrance just like official guests and will be given insight into the organisation and planning involved in hosting state banquets, garden parties, private audiences and other such events. The palace estimates that it hosts up to 62,000 guests every year.
One of the highlights for visitors will be the ballroom which will be set up as if it were hosting a state banquet for 170 diners with the grand service dinner set which has been used by British monarchs for 200 years since being commissioned by George IV when he was Prince Regent.
The set is comprised of 140 dishes, 288 dinner plates, 118 salt cellars, 12 ice-pails, 14 soup tureens, 58 dessert stands, silver gilt centrepieces and 107 candelabra and a unique special salt cellar for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip which was acquired by George I and contains two compartments for salt and mustard.
Visitors will also be able to watch a time-lapse film which shows how Palace staff set up the grand room for banquets.
A display of the queen’s evening dresses and jewellery – both of which she wears when hosting heads of state – and a collection of her garden party attire will be set up as well.
The attraction will be open to the public from July 25 until September 27.