Mr & Mrs Smith by Royal Appointment:
Buckingham Palace set to become the ultimate British B&B
In a move that will shock traditionalists, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today announced that Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarchy since 1837, will open its doors in October this year to paying hotel guests. Mr & Mrs Smith, the London-based boutique-hotel specialists, will handle all bookings.
An entire wing of the iconic 18th-century building, designed by architect John Nash, will be given over to what will, from this summer, be known as The Royal Windsor Palace Suites. A consortium behind this radical new concept is currently talking to renowned hotel designers – including, it is rumoured, Philippe Starck, Tom Bartlett and Terence Conran – about providing the decor for this enviable project.
‘We’re aware that many will be surprised by Her Majesty’s decision to open up a wing of her London residence,’ says Royal Press Secretary Oona Abrillo. ‘But, in the light of recent events, she feels that the time is right to do so.’
‘Princes William and Harry are particularly concerned about the role of royalty in the 21st-century,’ says one source close to St James’ Palace. ‘And, what with Al Fayed’s conspiracy theories, the Labour government using the issue of royal taxation to drum up votes and Prince Harry’s forced withdrawal from Iraq being seen as a PR stunt by a cynical public, they are determined that the Windsors should not be seen as remote and untouchable.’
James Lohan, managing director of Mr & Mrs Smith – which has proudly added the ‘By Royal Appointment’ shield to its logo – is delighted to have won the contract to deal with the bookings for what will be the most upmarket B&B of them all. ‘We’re overjoyed to be working with Her Majesty on this project,’ he says. ‘Our American clients, in particular, are very excited about the prospect of a weekend in the Palace.’
Both Mr & Mrs Smith and Buckingham Palace are keeping exact details of the project under wraps for the moment, but it is believed that activities available will include corgi-walking in the Palace gardens, a day with the horse guard and cosy tea-and-Q&A sessions with the likes of Princess Anne, Freddie Windsor and Camilla Parker Bowles.
For more information, or to make an advance booking at The Royal Windsor Palace Suites, please view here.