Are you one of the millions of people around the world who are captivated by the British Crown? London, home base for the British monarchy and full of royal sights, is an ideal city for royal family fanatics to study abroad in and explore. If royal baby Archie’s arrival has filled you with wanderlust to explore London and the history of the Crown, we can relate!
To celebrate the new royal family member, here’s a guide to 7 royal sights in London:
1. Buckingham Palace
As the administrative headquarters of the monarch, Buckingham Palace (featured above) is the central point of the British monarchy. The extravagant palace has a square footage of over 800,000 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world! While visiting, keep an eye out for the Royal Standard flag – if it flies, the Queen is home.
2. Hampton Court Palace
The magnificent Hampton Court Palace has been around for over 500 years and is just a short ride from central London. Its remarkable gardens, opened to the public in the 1830s, are a major highlight that attract thousands of visitors to the palace each year. Aside from that, you can also take guided tours of the palace’s interior and walk the same hallways as King Henry VII and William and Mary.
3. Westminster Abbey
Created by Benedictine monks in the mid-tenth century, Westminster Abbey has been host to sixteen royal weddings. Additionally, all coronations of English and British monarchs since 1066 have taken place in Westminster Abbey – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aside from 17 British monarchs, other notable figures now buried here include Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens.
4. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle, about an hour’s drive outside of London, is the largest occupied castle in the world and one of the Queen’s residences. To this day, the 11th century castle remains a working palace and more than 500 people live and work within its walls. For those yearning for a glimpse at royal living, the castle is open to the public for tours.
5. Kew Palace
Though it’s one of the smallest British palaces, the Kew Palace is distinctively elegant and charming. Built in the 1600s, this palace is situated a little less than an hour from London on the banks of the River Thames. King George III was known to regularly spend his summers there with his wife, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children. Today, the Kew Palace and Queen Charlotte’s Cottage are in the trust of Historic Royal Palaces and open to the public.
6. Kensington Palace
The official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and former home of Princess Diana, Kensington Palace is one of Britain’s most famous palaces. It has been home to royals since the 17th century and various public events are held in the Kensington Gardens each year.
7. Sandringham House
A private residence owned by the Queen, the royal Sandringham Estate spans an impressive 20,000 acres. It first came under Royal ownership in 1862 by the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII, and has since been passed down in the family. Although the Crown owns other Royal palaces, the Sandringham House is owned specifically by the royal family.
Eager to explore royal sights in and around London? Study abroad in London with AIFS!