London, city, capital of the United Kingdom. It is among the oldest of the world’s great cities—its history spanning nearly two millennia—and one of the most cosmopolitan. By far Britain’s largest metropolis, it is also the country’s economic, transportation, and cultural centre.
The grand royal palaces in and around London, along with Windsor Castle, are a highlight of any UK holiday. Rich in history, some are still royal residences today. Many of London’s royal palaces open to the public, but even if you can’t travel right now, you can discover their exciting and glamorous stories in our round-up. Or for a right-royal getaway.
One of the most impressive royal palaces in London, monumental Buckingham Palace dominates The Mall overlooking St James’s Park. The official London residence of UK sovereigns since 1837, it’s still the monarch’s administrative HQ. When not used for royal receptions, the antique-packed State Rooms are open to the public every summer (there are also spring guided tours and garden access for picnics). Expect lavish furniture, art and porcelain, with the White Drawing Room especially eye-catching.
Tower of London
Tower of London, by name the Tower, royal fortress and London landmark. Its buildings and grounds served historically as a royal palace, a place of execution, an arsenal, a royal mint, a menagerie, and a public records office. It is located on the north bank of the River Thames, in the extreme western portion of the borough of Tower Hamlets, on the border with the central City of London.