Best Bets: Belgian, British palaces open until fall
July 20, 2011
BelgiumThe country’s monarchy opens the royal palace’s state rooms to the public Tuesday through Sept. 11, allowing visitors to tour the rooms where the king deals with affairs of state.
Among the palace’s highlights are the Goya Room, with tapestries patterned on paintings by the Spanish artist; the Throne Room, with bas-reliefs by Rodin; and the Mirror Room, with its marble-and-copper walls and a ceiling decorated with 1.4 million jewel beetles.
The palace is open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Get more details at www.monarchie.be/en.
EnglandNot to be outdone by Belgium’s royalty, England’s queen will open Buckingham Palace’s staterooms to the public starting Saturday when she goes on her annual holiday to Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Nineteen staterooms will be open until Oct. 3. Visitors will see paintings by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens and Vermeer; the traditional horseshoe-shaped banquet table exquisitely decorated for a state dinner; and the Centre Room’s balcony, from which the royal family greets the public.
This year’s special exhibitions include a collection of works by Russian court jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé and the wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton when she married Prince William.
Tickets for the audio tour cost 17.50 pounds (about $28) for adults, 10 pounds (about $16) for children under 17 and free for children under 5.
A combination ticket that includes the state rooms; the Royal Mews, where the royal family’s fleet of horse-drawn carriages and motor cars are kept; and The Queen’s Gallery, which displays the country’s artworks and other treasures; costs 31 pounds for adults and 17.50 pounds for children under 17. Children under 5 get in free.
Find more details at www.royalcollection.org.uk.