Despite the obvious security concerns, it is possible to visit several royal residences when their occupants are elsewhere. The most intimate and arguably the most fascinating is
Buckingham Palace is open from July 23 to October 3, 2011, while the Queen is at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The State Apartments contain notable paintings, including those by Rembrandt and Poussin. This year’s special exhibition features the royal collection of Fabergé eggs and jewelry. Visitors may also stroll though part of the palace garden. Exclusive tours with expert guides are available.
Visit royalcollection.org.uk for tickets and further details. Kensington Palace, former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment, and the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection is temporarily closed. When it reopens, it is expected to be augmented by Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown.