National treasuresMark Her Majesty's official birthday with a visit to an iconic UK attraction
Her Majesty The Queen will mark her official birthday on Saturday 12 June. Although the Queen's actual birthday falls on 21 April, the tradition of the British monarch celebrating two birthdays dates back to the 17th century reign of King George II, whose birthday fell in late autumn. The King declared an 'official' birthday in the summer, in the hope of better weather for the Trooping the Colour parade.
In honour of the occasion, here’s a selection of AA and VisitEngland-recommended national treasures with fascinating royal connections.
The Queen’s official residence, Buckingham Palace is recognised around the world as the focus of national and royal celebrations. Explore the gardens with unprecedented freedom this summer and enjoy the magnificent State Rooms on a special guided tour.
Hampton Court Palace and Gardens
Discover the home of Henry VIII with a visit to this spectacular baroque palace. Relax in the world-renowned gardens, experience the grandeur of the Tudor court in the Great Hall and travel back to the pinnacle of Tudor feasting and frolics in Henry VIII’s kitchens.
HM Tower of London
London’s iconic castle is also a secure fortress, royal palace and notorious prison. Be dazzled by the Crown Jewels, marvel at the White Tower, meet the famous Yeoman Warders and the Tower’s legendary resident ravens.
Located on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House is the palatial former holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Stroll around the vibrant gardens, admire their children’s cottage, visit the bathing beach, and step inside to see the ornate furnishings.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Holyroodhouse stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal mile and is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. The home of Scottish royal history, your visit will reveal the Palace’s close association with figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Situated in the heart of Brighton, the Royal Pavilion was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. Enjoy the extravagance of the Music Room, picture the feasts that would have been hosted in the elaborate Banqueting Room and wander round the Regency-style garden.
Sandringham House, Gardens & Museum
Nestled in 24 hectares of formal Gardens, Sandringham House is the country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen. Explore the great collections of objets d’art, discover rare and unusual trees in the formal Gardens and enjoy locally-sourced produce in the shop and cafés.
Founded by Benedictine monks in 960 AD, the Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place for many great figures of our past. Highlights include Poets’ Corner, the Coronation Chair and the Lady Chapel.
The oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle is home to royalty and 1,000 years of royal history. Open to visitors throughout the year, take a tour of the Castle Precincts, discover the State Apartments and admire the beauty of St George’s Chapel.