Buckingham Palace: the place to be

Queen Elizabeth’s London residence Buckingham Palace has seen an eight per cent rise in paying visitors.

The surge in visitors to the palace’s state rooms – which open during the summer months – comes despite a five per cent fall in foreign tourists coming to Britain over the summer. Palace officials have decided to extend opening hours to ensure everyone who wants to see the rooms can.

Frances Dunkels, spokesman for the Royal Collection, which uses money from the summer opening to help maintain Windsor Castle, told The Daily Express: “In the first three weeks of the summer opening we’ve been about eight per cent up on average on the same period last year, which we’re very pleased about.

“We haven’t had the chance yet to get a proper breakdown of the visitors and where they’re from.”

It is thought visitors are flocking to the palace’s main attraction, which is a recreation of a state banquet.

State banquets are usually reserved for presidents, royalty and dignitaries, but the display allows everyday people to experience the prestigious event.

The ballroom at Buckingham Palace has been decorated as it would be for the banquet, including a large dining table laid with rare cutlery, glasses and table decorations.

Last year 360,000 visitors toured the palace to see a display which celebrated the diamond wedding anniversary of the queen and Prince Philip.