Our pick of royal things to do in London in 2020, with the best ways to explore the world of the British Royal Family. Highlights include visiting Buckingham Palace, the centre of the British Monarchy which has lots of royal things to see throughout the year. This includes viewing the State Apartments during the summer of 2020 and seeing the royal collection of paintings and artefacts throughout the year. London is also home to other royal locations, including Kensington Palace where Princess Diana lived and the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are kept.
Buckingham Palace 2020
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the Monarchy, and Queen Elizabeth II lives here with her husband Prince Philip. One of the best royal things to do in London this summer 2020 is to visit the State Apartments, which are open for just 8 weeks. On a self-guided tour you’ll get to see royal rooms like the Throne Room, Ballroom and White Drawing Room. This year there is also a special exhibition at Buckingham Palace exploring the Royal Family’s love of animals.
You can see the State Rooms from 18 July to 27 September 2020.
Royal London: Changing of the Guard Ceremony
If you are not visiting London during the summer months there are plenty of other ways to experience this Royal London residence. The Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place outside the gates of Buckingham Palace throughout the year. This iconic show marks the moment when the soldiers currently guarding the Palace exchange places with the new guard. It’s accompanied by a full military band playing traditional marches and popular songs.
Royal London: The Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace is open throughout 2020 and contains master paintings, furniture and pieces from the Royal Collection. This year sees three exhibitions take place at the Gallery.
See the George IV exhibition on display at the gallery until 3 May 2020. One of the most extraordinary parts of the Royal Collection explores the life of this king with important portraits, delicate porcelain and rare books.
From 12 June 2020 to 8 November 2020, the Queen’s Gallery will host an exhibition on Japan, with outstanding items from the Royal Collection on display. It tells the story of 300 years of exchange between the British royal family and Japnese royal and imperial families.
From 4 December 2020, an exhibition showcasing some of the masterpieces from the Royal Collection goes on display at the Queen’s Gallery. This includes works by Titian, Guercino, Guido Reni, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Rubens.
The Royal Mews
The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is open from February to November 2020. This working stable is responsible for all road travel arrangements for the Queen and Royal Family. You can see the Gold Stage Coach which has been used at every coronation since 1821 as well as the coach that was built to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Visitors can try out a royal carriage and see some of the horses used to pull the carriages.
Royal London: The Tower of London 2020
The Tower of London is a historic royal palace that dates back over 1,000 years. Visitors can see the Crown Jewels that are still used in royal ceremonies today, such as by the Queen for the State Opening of Parliament. This is the most powerful symbol of the British Monarchy which is under armed guard in the Jewel Tower.
You can also see the Yeoman Warders, part of the Royal Bodyguard who are nicknamed ‘Beefeaters’. These guards have existed since the 11th Century, and are instantly recognizable by their colourful uniform. Today they act as guides who bring to life the royal history at the Tower of London.
Visit the Medieval Palace at the Tower of London to see the recreations of impressive interiors used by medieval kings and queens, notably King Henry III and King Edward I. You can also visit the Royal armour and see objects from Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.
Royal London: Kensington Palace 2020
Kensington Palace was the birthplace of Queen Victoria and has been a home for young royals for over 300 years. Visitors can explore the rooms where Princess Victoria was born and raised and see the King’s State Apartments that were used for audiences and meetings in the presence of royalty. The Palace was also the home of Princess Diana, and you can see a piece from her wardrobe as well as original sketches created for her during the design process.
This year an exhibition at Kensington Palace explores life through a Royal lens. The exhibition brings some of the most iconic photographs ever taken of the Royal Family to Kensington Palace. The exhibition takes place from 15 May 2020 to 3 January 2021 and is included in a palace admission ticket.
Royal Events in London 2020
10-11 June 2020: Beating Retreat takes place on Horse Guards Parade. This is an annual military ceremony usually attended by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Tickets can be booked by the public in advance.
13th June 2020: Two days later is the Queen’s Birthday Parade, a dazzling celebration with musicians, marching bands and 1400 officers on parade