Great Britain is celebrating after Queen Elizabeth II officially became the country’s longest-serving monarch this week – and visitors to London can explore her life and times with the popular London Pass sightseeing card.
Available at http://www.londonpass.com, the London Pass offers admission to more than 60 attractions across the British capital, with several having strong links to the Queen and to key moments in her life.
This world-famous icon was the site of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation on 2 June 1953. In front of more than 8,000 guests (including Prime Ministers and heads of state) and a worldwide TV audience of millions, the Queen took the Coronation Oath in the beautiful Gothic church which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Westminster Abbey has been the nation’s Coronation church since the crowning of William The Conqueror in 1066. The Abbey has also witnessed the weddings of the Queen’s children Princess Anne andPrince Andrew, as well as the wedding of her grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.
Normally priced at £20 per person, entry to Westminster Abbey is included with the London Pass.
One of the Queen’s official residences and the largest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle plays an important role in the monarch’s life. The Queen uses the castle both as a private home, usually spending weekends here, and as a Royal residence in which formal duties are undertaken. Each year she takes up residence at Windsor Castle for a month over Easter (a period known as ‘Easter Court’), while she also stays for a week in June, during which time she attends the world-renowned Royal Ascot race meeting.
Normally priced at £19.20, entry to Windsor Castle is included with the London Pass.
Perhaps best known as the former residence of Princess Diana, more recently Kensington Palace has been home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (that’s Prince William and Kate). It was here on 5 May 2015 that the Queen came to meet her latest grandchild, Princess Charlotte, for the first time, staying for just 30 minutes before returning to Buckingham Palace for more official duties! For the fashion enthusiast, Kensington Palace is currently playing host to ‘Fashion Rules’, an exhibition which includes a number of the Queen’s dresses, as well as others from the collections of Princess Diana and Princess Margaret.
Normally priced at £15.90, entry to Kensington Palace is included with the London Pass.
The Tower of London
Her Majesty is fortunately less familiar with the Tower of London than her predecessor Elizabeth I, who was imprisoned here before ascending to the throne. However it is the only place to get a really good look at the Crown placed on the Queen’s head at her Coronation in 1953. St Edward’s Crown, named after Edward the Confessor, is part of the Crown Jewels collection on display at the Tower. Also containing the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown, which is worn by the Queen annually at the State Opening of Parliament, the current Crown Jewels Collection was opened by Her Majesty in 1994.
Normally priced at £22, entry to the Tower of London is included with the London Pass.
London Pass holders visiting the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle can benefit from fast-track entry, enabling them to skip the lines at these popular attractions. Queue-jumping privileges also apply at other featured sites such as Kew Gardens, the Tower Bridge Exhibition and London Zoo.
The London Pass is cost-effective too – with a one-day pass visitors can start saving money on normal admission prices after visiting just three attractions. A one-day London Pass costs £52 for adults and £35 for a child (aged 5-15 years), while a two-day pass costs £71 for adults and £52 for children. Three-day and six-day passes are also available.