Buckingham Palace will not open to visitors this summer amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has been confirmed.
The Queen’s London residence usually opens in the summer for tours, giving visitors a glimpse inside the workings of the palace.
But even though the Queen will stay in Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future, the palace will not open, the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) has confirmed.
Frogmore House and Clarence House will also stay closed.
In a statement, the RCT said: “Because of the operational challenges of social distancing, unfortunately we have had to take the decision not to open the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace to the public this summer, and Frogmore House and Clarence House will not open in August 2020. Those who have booked tickets will be refunded.”
Virtual tours can be done online of Buckingham Palace, allowing people to see the unique objects and art.
The state rooms at Buckingham Palace have been opened to visitors over the summer for several years, while the Queen is traditionally in her Scottish home in Balmoral.
This year, the Queen looks likely to stay in Windsor, where she has been since mid-March after leaving London early for Easter Court.
The palace openings first began after the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, as the Queen faced a large bill for repair work.
It cost £8 for adults to visit in the summer of 1993. According to the BBC, all advance booking slots for palace visits booked up in a week – for the next three years.
The plan originally was just for the palace to open until 1997, but the RCT, which was set up to look after tourism at the London palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, continued the summer events.
Exhibitions in the palace usually take on a theme each year. The gardens have also been opened and the RCT invested in the Queen’s Gallery in London, which visitors see along with the palace.
Clarence House, where the Queen Mother lived, has been opened to the public since 2003.