Around the back of Buckingham Palace is the Royal Mews, where the King’s horses and carriages are kept, and they’ve reopened to the public today after their winter slumber.

The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace evolved from the King’s Mews, originally just to the north of Trafalgar Square and originally to house royal hawks. The name ‘mews’ derives from the word ‘mew’, meaning moulting, as the birds were confined there at moulting time. Stables for horses are now known as mews, even though the hawks have long since flown the nest.

The current Royal Mews is at the back of Buckingham Palace, behind that high stone wall surrounding the palace’s back gardens. Today, the horseless carriage does most of the work, so there are rather fewer horses in the mews, and therefore, it’s open to the public to go in and have a look.

Some of the former stables now house the State Carriages that are dragged out for regal events, each in their own box with a display board explaining their heritage. Despite their seemingly reduced bling, the semi-state carriages are preferred for regal duties as the carriage’s occupant is easier for the public to see.

However, the highlight is the Gold State Coach, which is very rarely used — except for the occasional Coronation, so that’s the one used after the crowning last year.

The mews will be open for most of the summer.

Entry to the Royal Mews is £17 for adults, £11 for young people, £8.50 for children and concessions. Children under 5 are free.

If you buy tickets online and print them out before you visit, you can have the ticket endorsed to give you free repeat visits for a year.

Incidentally, while most people think of the carriages as being for the Royal Family, in fact, the carriages are out a lot, as the UK has a charming tradition. Each time a new Ambassador or High Commissioner presents their credentials to the Monarch, they are taken from their official home to Buckingham Palace in one of the royal carriages.

Which is a pretty nice way of starting a new job.


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One comment
  1. Geeaneshwur Nath Bundhun says:

    Good morning is it possible to visit today?

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