Ealing Pupils Get Special Access to Buckingham Palace

Insights School students given tour of State Room and Royal Mews

Ealing students were impressed. Picture: Royal Collection Trust / His Majesty King Charles III 2023


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October 5, 2023

Pupils from the Insights School and Skills Academy in West Ealing were given special access to Buckingham Palace as part of the very first Schools Week.

Between 25 and 29 September, as well as on Tuesdays throughout September, Coronation-themed educational activities were held in the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews, and The Queen’s Gallery.

With the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace now closed to the public until next summer, the Insight School pupils were among the groups invited inside by the Royal Collection Trust.

The groups benefitted from having the visitor route to themselves to discover more about Coronations past and present through paintings from the Royal Collection, and seeing with their own eyes the robes and historic items used in the Coronation of Their Majesties – which formed part of this summer’s annual display.

The young people relished the chance to see the precious objects on display in the State Rooms, including the Throne Room, the Blue Drawing Room and the Music Room, as they participated in creative writing sessions. Outside, pupils took in the magnificent exteriors through landscape drawing and watercolour painting sessions.

Will Graham, Learning Manager at Royal Collection Trust, said, ‘Although school groups have visited Buckingham Palace for many years, we have never had the opportunity to have school pupils in on their own before, so having the State Rooms to themselves has been a real treat.

‘We were keen to give the kids a truly memorable and educational experience. It has been fantastic having so many children visit and be immersed in the rich history of Buckingham Palace.’

Barbara Quartey MBE, Founder and Executive Director of Insights School and Skills Academy, Ealing, said, ‘We truly value the privilege of being able to bring our students who have a range of additional needs to experience Buckingham Palace. The staff ensure that our students get the most out of the workshops, resources and tours which brings to life the place and its historical legacy.’

Marcel, 16, a pupil at Insights School and Skills Academy in Ealing, West London, said, ‘I loved my experience at Buckingham Palace – it was such a privilege and honour to walk through the same halls as the Royal Family. It was very engaging and interesting, and I learnt plenty about the history of the monarchy and much more! I am so grateful.’

No other visitors were present when the school had its tour. Picture: Royal Collection Trust / His Majesty King Charles III 2023

Throughout the year, Royal Collection Trust – the charity managing the public opening of the official royal residences – hosts educational visits in addition to offering schools free resources and sessions online. Royal Collection Trust also works with a range of community organisations to make the royal Palaces, Mews and Galleries accessible to as many people as possible. 

Between April 2022 and March 2023, a total of 40,000 school pupils made a visit to one of the official royal residences and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh or attended virtual sessions.


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