Royal Family

King Charles Is Breaking Royal Tradition At Buckingham Palace

The London landmark remains the monarch’s primary residence.

King Charles III on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

King Charles is about to break a major royal tradition at Buckingham Palace. After more than five years of renovations, the reigning monarch will open the palace’s East Wing to the public for the first time in history throughout July and August 2024.

The East Wing encompasses the front of the historic residence, which includes the Principal Floor and the famous Buckingham Palace balcony, where the royal family has gathered for public appearances since the 1800s.

The forthcoming tours, priced at £75.00 ($93) per person, will allow visitors to discover the Wing’s history and explore highlights from the royal art collection.

Designed by architect Edward Blore, the East Wing was constructed between 1847 and 1849 during Queen Victoria’s expansion of Buckingham Palace. The interiors were inspired by King George IV’s (Victoria’s uncle) love of Asian art and design, and the Wing’s principal rooms, including the Yellow Drawing Room and the Centre Room, are decked out with Chinese-themed decor.

At the suggestion of Prince Albert, the Buckingham Palace balcony faces the historic Mall, a design decision that ensures the royal family is visible to the British public during important events, including Coronation and Jubilee celebrations.

Buckingham Palace. Future Publishing/Future Publishing/Getty Images

This isn’t the only long-standing tradition King Charles is set to break at a royal residence this summer. Throughout July and August, visitors will also be permitted to tour the once-private quarters of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for the first time.

The castle is traditionally the British monarch’s summertime destination and has been the site of many major royal milestones, such as the September 2022 passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 at Balmoral after 70 years on the throne.

“For the first time since the castle was completed in 1855, we have been granted permission to take you on a private tour with our experienced guides,” the official Balmoral site reads. “You will learn about the origins of the Castle and how it has been loved by generations of the Royal family.”

Tickets, which have since sold out, set guests back £100 ($126) for standard admission, while the more expensive afternoon tea package was priced at £150 ($189.51).