Starting 23 July, guests can once again tour Royal Collection Trust castles, palaces, and galleries as Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh re-open to the public.
The castle and other Royal Collection Trust properties have been closed since 21 March due to the coronavirus pandemic and will open their doors with new safety measures in place.
“To ensure your safety, we have introduced advance booking, reduced the number of people we can welcome at any one time and a range of other measures,” the Trust said on their website.
These measures include timed tickets to ensure a reduced capacity in the buildings, so booking your tickets online ahead of time is essential to guarantee entry. Typically, visitors would be allowed to exit the property and come back later, but re-entry will be prohibited until further notice due to the timed slots.
Face masks are not required for guests except in the main shop at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where a face covering is mandatory. However, all visitors are welcome to wear masks and/or gloves if they would like. Social distancing markings will be placed throughout the marked routes at the properties, and staff members will be on hand to provide guidance in indoor areas, for example, if guests should wait in a room until the next one becomes clear.
Touch-free hand sanitiser dispensers and hand-washing facilities can be found at all Royal Collection Trust properties and toilet facilities will be open as usual. Using the multimedia guides and headphones that are touched by other visitors is an issue most tourists would question, but the Trust assures they “are cleaned twice, once when charging, and again immediately before being given to visitors.”
Sanitising wipes will be available for those who wish to further clean the headsets and guests are welcome to bring their own headphones with a standard audio jack.
Although Windsor Castle and other Royal Collection Trust properties are opening, Buckingham Palace, Frogmore House, and Clarence House will not be opening to the public this summer, with the Royal Collection Trust stating “the operational challenges of social distancing” at these buildings.