King Charles breaks royal tradition at Buckingham Palace

King Charles is about to break a major royal tradition at Buckingham Palace. After more than five years of renovations, the reigning monarch will open the east wing of the palace to the public for the first time in history during July and August 2024.

The east wing surrounds the front of the historic official residence, which includes the main building and the famous Buckingham Palace Balcony, where the royal family has gathered for public appearances since the 1800s.

Upcoming tours, priced at £75 ($93) per person, will allow visitors to learn about the wing's history and explore highlights from the Royal Art Collection.

The East Wing was designed by architect Edward Blore and built between 1847 and 1849 during Queen Victoria's expansion of Buckingham Palace. The interior design was inspired by King George IV's (Victoria's uncle) love of Asian art and design, and the main rooms in the wing, including the Yellow Drawing Room and the Center Room, are decorated with Chinese-themed decorations.

At the suggestion of Prince Albert, the balcony of Buckingham Palace faces the historic shopping center, a design decision that ensures the British public can see the royal family during important events such as the Coronation and Jubilee celebrations.

Buckingham Palace. Future Publishing/Future Publishing/Getty Images

It's not the only long-standing tradition King Charles is breaking at the palace this summer. Throughout July and August, visitors will also be allowed to visit the once private areas of Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland for the first time.

The castle is traditionally the summer retreat of the British monarch and is home to many major royal milestones, such as Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022 at the age of 96, at Balmoral after 70 years on the throne.

"For the first time since the castle was completed in 1855, we are allowed to take you on a private tour with an experienced guide," the official Balmoral website reads. "You'll learn about the castle's origins and how it was influenced by A favorite among generations of royalty.”

Tickets are now sold out, with standard tickets priced at £100 ($126), while the more expensive afternoon tea package is priced at £150 ($189.51).