At seemingly every major state event in the UK, key figures from the British royal family line up on a balcony at Buckingham Palace to wave to the public.

It’s where then-Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana shared their first public post-wedding kiss, and where — years later — the “fab four” waved to crowds before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s rift with his family emerged.

But until now this part of the building has never been open to the public.

Starting from July 11, and running until September 29, visitors to the palace will be able to pay around $95 for a guided tour of Buckingham Palace’s East Wing, which has just emerged from a lengthy refurbishment.

Tickets sold out within hours of being announced in April, Sky News reported. The palace is considering whether to repeat it next year.

The East Wing covers the building’s main facade and includes the Centre Room, which offers a glimpse out onto the balcony.

Built in 1847, it was commissioned by Queen Victoria to accommodate her growing family, closing off what had been a horseshoe-shaped courtyard.

The balcony itself was the idea of Prince Albert, the queen’s consort, in order to “connect with the people,” Caroline de Guitaut, a palace surveyor, told The Guardian.

But you won’t be able to give a royal wave from it yourself, according to the BBC.

This may be due to safety reasons, it suggested — the balcony barrier is below waist height.

The space is also surprisingly cramped, the outlet reported.

Even King Charles seems to have worried about toppling over at his coronation, The Mirror reported in 2023, citing a lip-reader who said he had spoken about not standing too close to the edge.

But even Harry and Meghan can’t make appearances there now after the late Queen decided that it was for working royals only.

You might not be able to access the ultimate selfie location, but you can still see a great deal.

Those touring the East Wing can take in more than 3,500 objects, with the Centre Room’s crowning feature a giant, lotus-shaped glass chandelier that has hung over the heads of many royals.

Many objects on view are Chinese-themed, reflecting King George IV’s love of the country’s art and design.

These include recently restored hand-painted wallpaper dating to the 18th century in the room where Queen Elizabeth II sat for many of her portraits, per The Guardian.

The refurbishment of the East Wing cost $475 million, leading to questions in the UK parliament when it was first announced in 2016.

It was ultimately paid for through a massive uptick in the Sovereign Grant, the money that working royals are given to fulfill their public duties.



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