This summer, visitors to London's Buckingham Palace will have the unique opportunity to stand behind the iconic balcony frequently used by the British royal family for photo opportunities. For the first time ever, the palace is opening its East Wing, which houses the Centre Room where the famous balcony is located.

"This room was part of the East Wing's expansion, commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It was Prince Albert who proposed the addition of the balcony," explained Nicola Turner Inman, curator of Decorative Arts at the Royal Collection Trust. "It was first utilized in 1851 to bid farewell to troops heading to the Crimean War. Thus, it has been in service for a considerable period," she added. Although visitors will not be permitted to stand on the balcony itself, they will be able to gaze through the net curtain towards The Mall and admire a newly restored 19th-century glass chandelier in the shape of a lotus flower.

"For the public to be able to view the chandelier up close, not just catching a glimpse from afar, but actually being in the room where it is displayed, is a thrilling prospect," Turner Inman remarked. Ticket holders will also gain access to the Yellow Drawing Room, which boasts 18th-century artifacts such as recently restored hand-painted Chinese wallpaper and a Kylin clock. Although guided tours of parts of the palace have been available since 1993, this section has only recently opened after five years of renovations as part of the ongoing Buckingham Palace reservicing programme.

Other notable attractions include Chinese imperial silk wall hangings gifted to Queen Victoria and artwork by 18th-century British painter Thomas Gainsborough displayed in the Principal Corridor. In addition to viewing the East Wing rooms, which are often used for receptions and meetings, the 75 pound ($95.90) tickets also grant access to the State Rooms. The summer opening of the State Rooms and the East Wing rooms runs from July 11 to September 29. While cheaper tickets are available for the State Rooms only, those eager to see the newly opened wing will need to wait until next year, as tickets for this section have already sold out.