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Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Virtual view for royal fans
Buckingham Palace
Beat the crowds with a virtual look at the Palace
Those interested in seeing inside Buckingham Palace, but not wanting to face the long queues for a tour, can now view one of its state rooms from the comfort of their own home.

A virtual tour of the palace has been created and can be accessed through the Royal Family's online internet magazine, Royal Insight - www.royalinsight.gov.uk - from Thursday.

The tour of the White Drawing Room was produced to give people who cannot visit the palace in person a glimpse of its interior.

The Royal Family in the White Drawing Room
The Queen Mother poses for an 80th birthday photo in the White Drawing Room
It is also hoped it will encourage people to take advantage of the annual summer opening, which begins on Sunday.

The tour was created using 12 photographs taken with a camera placed in the same spot in the room, which were then stitched into a perfect panorama.

The technology allows the viewer to zoom in on certain parts of the room.

Photographic virtual reality company Panormania, which created the tour, also produced the virtual tour of 10 Downing Street.

Global

Panormania spokesman, Jamie Mitchell, said: "The Royal Family has a global following, but not everybody can go and look inside Buckingham Palace.

"There were certain features that were important to present - not just the room, but certain objects like the secret door - which are very interesting to the general public."

The web site, which includes details of past and forthcoming royal engagements, was launched by the Duke of York at an Internet cafe last year.

The site is produced by Buckingham Palace.

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One's own webzine
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