A record-breaking 413,000 visitors passed through the doors of Buckingham Palace
during this years Summer Opening. Attendance was the highest in 16 years and the second-highest since Buckingham Palace first opened to the public in 1993 (420,000 visitors were recorded in 1994). To top a very successful year, Buckingham Palace was awarded Best UK Attraction at both the Group Travel Awards and the Group Leisure Awards.
Many who had visited Buckingham Palace in previous seasons returned this summer to see the special exhibition, The Queens Year, which charted the spectacle and variety of The Queens work. The Palaces new Garden Café proved to be an equal draw. Over the eight weeks of the Summer Opening, it served 46,000 cups of tea; the profiteroles and vanilla mille feuille were among visitors favourite treats.
Furthermore, owing to popular demand, the highly acclaimed Victoria & Albert: Art & Love exhibition at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace has now been extended until 5 December 2010. It brings together over 400 works of art collected by the royal couple, many exchanged as gifts to mark special occasions. Thanks to the exhibition, attendance at The Queens Gallery has risen by 19% this year, including a record number of first-time visitors.
Jonathan Marsden, Director of the Royal Collection, said, We are delighted that the number of people choosing to visit Buckingham Palace has continued to grow year on year. Winning two major group travel industry awards is enormously encouraging and a recognition of our commitment to providing the best possible experience for our visitors.