Buckingham Palace is the main London residence of the British Royal Family. This historic palace has been a royal home for more than two centuries and is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of England. Buckingham Palace is often cited as the most beautiful palace in Europe.
The exceptional architecture, stunning interiors, and magnificent grounds all contribute to its regal status. The history of the palace also adds to its allure, with stories of royalty, intrigue, and luxury spanning centuries. Visitors from all over the world flock to Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of this remarkable palace, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United Kingdom.
Whether you're admiring the State Rooms or strolling through the gorgeous palace garden, it's easy to see why Buckingham Palace is considered the jewel in the crown of European palaces. Visit to Buckingham Palace is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Let's take a look at what makes this palace so special.
Short History of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace was originally built as a private home in 1703 by the Duke of Buckingham. In 1761 it was acquired by King George III for use as a Queen's house of his wife Queen Charlotte, near St James's Palace.
Buckingham Palace officially became the Royal residence of the British monarch when Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, being the first monarch to have official residence here.
The palace has undergone several renovations over the years, but its original Baroque style remains intact.
The last structural changes were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the eastern facade of the palace building which includes the well-known balcony from where the British Royal Family greets the crowds in Victoria Square. Today, it stands as an iconic symbol of Britain’s rich heritage and royal history.
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The Changing of the Guard Ceremony
One of the most popular activities that tourists can enjoy while visiting Buckingham Palace is watching the Guard Ceremony. This ceremony occurs every day in the months of July and Juni at 11:00 am, but from August to May only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Ceremony when new guards replace the old ones in front of the Buckingham Palace gates, accompanied by a band playing military music, creates a memorable scene that draws in thousands of spectators from around the world.
It truly is an exceptional spectacle and a must-see when visiting London. Therefore, make sure that no changes have been made for the Guard ceremony on the official website.
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Highlights of Buckingham Palace
The palace also offers guided tours throughout the year and especially during the summer months, when the palace is opened for 10 weeks — a great way for travelers to explore inside some of its vast State Rooms such as White Drawing Room, Music Room, Throne Room, and Ballroom, where each room meticulously preserved in its former centuries old architecture and furnished with most priceless items from the Royal Collection.
Knowledgeable guides along the way provide a glimpse into the rich history of England’s monarchs and their traditions.
Touring guests will have an awe-inspiring experience as they view some of the priceless works of art on display, including collections from master painters like Canaletto and Rembrandt.
Guests will also have access to the Royal Mews, where they can see the royal horse-drawn carriages used for state occasions and official engagements, and other royal vehicles. As well as the Queen's Gallery which displays works of art from the Royal Collection, was built on the site of a palace chapel destroyed during World War II and opened to the public in 1962.
In addition to all its historical significance, Buckingham Palace also hosts many national and royal celebrations throughout the year. From state banquets to royal receptions, visitors have plenty of opportunity to experience life within these hallowed walls firsthand.
As well as, stroll through the beautiful palace garden, arguably the largest in London, see where the famous garden parties are held, as well as rose plantations.
Visit Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of His Majesty the King, and discover the highlights. There is so much to see at Buckingham Palace that you will not be disappointed.
The Grand Staircase of Buckingham Palace
The Grand Staircase of Buckingham Palace is a spectacular welcome to this iconic building. Its 19th century design, created by John Nash and crafted from bronze and Carrara marble, features oak leaves that swirl up the double balustrade in an impressive display.
Portraits of Royal Family members add further character as visitors ascend towards either State Rooms for grand receptions or banquets, or are honored with accolades from royalty themselves - all sure to leave them spellbound!
Boasting a grand and imposing presence, the Staircase at Buckingham Palace offers a unique experience to all who pass through. From prestigious Investiture ceremonies in the Ballroom to regal receptions or guided tours of its State Rooms, it remains an iconic gateway for many occasions today.
Throne Room of Buckingham Palace
Stepping into the iconic throne room of Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom's esteemed residence for its Monarch in London city is akin to taking a journey through British royalty’s history.
There are two Chairs of the Estate in throne room which were crafted from carved and gilded beechwood with upholstery made from crimson silk and are used for court functions as well as acting like a ballroom for ceremonial occasions ― The very same chairs that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on!
Not forgetting King George VI & Queen Victoria’s own single respective thrones are also part of this majestic scene; preserved throughout centuries so we can appreciate their legacy today.
Buckingham Palace Ballroom
Along with the iconic Throne Room, Buckingham Palace is also home to two regal thrones in its grandiose Ballroom. Not just a room for dancing and merrymaking, this expansive hall has been used for Britain's honoring ceremonies.
The Ballroom was crafted with care during the illustrious rule of Queen Victoria. It was initially called the Ball and Concert Room, decked out in grandiosity for elaborate celebrations - from its decorated walls to an immense organ-loaded musicians' gallery! Now, official ceremonies, investitures, and state dinners are held in the ballroom.
White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace
The majestic White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace is a sight to behold. With its furnishings of fine English and French furniture with yellow brocade upholstery, white painted walls and glittering cut-glass chandeliers glittering among the gilded detail, it shines as perhaps the grandest of all the palace's state rooms.
The room has also become renowned for its secret door , through which their Majesties usually enter state rooms when holding an official reception– one of four side cabinets in fact – which lies hidden among mirrors just waiting to surprise visitors.
Over time, this luxurious room has become a favorite among British monarchy and visitors alike; having served as both Queen Elizabeth's yearly Christmas broadcast setting and a spot chosen to take official family photos.
The Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace
The Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace stands as an one of the magnificent State Rooms in Buckingham Palace with an impressive example of Georgian sumptuousness and décor.
At 21 meters (68 feet) in length, the vastness of the room is laid out with Corinthian columns defining it into compartments and contains red carpets, caramel pillars with blue curtains and furniture.
This room has seen its fair share of stories over the years, from boisterous laughter and music to statesmanlike speeches. Today it continues to play host to celebrations big and small: here's where guests come together with a glass in hand before savoring lavish luncheons or gathering for grand State affairs.
In addition, many may not be aware that King Charles III’s first televised address to his nation was also recorded in the Blue Drawing Room.
The Music Room at Buckingham Palace
Step inside the world of regal music at The Music Room - one of the last state rooms destinations; a space fit for royals. Featuring grand furniture once belonging to George IV and an impressive piano from John Broadwood & Sons, it's no wonder that this room has witnessed not just recitals but also royal christenings - namely Prince Charles and Prince William!
Dazzling cut-glass chandeliers hang in between arched mirrors against blue scagliola columns with settees lining up along its walls on either side. At the center lies a double-backed brocade sofa, adding more than enough charm as you venture through into the Picture Gallery beyond.
The Bow Room at Buckingham Palace
The Bow Room is a stunning State Room in Buckingham's Palace located in the palace's west wing. It gets its name from its huge windows which face out to the gardens and a grand stretch of double doors that lead to beautiful outdoor festivities and joyous garden parties, frequented by distinguished guests from near and far!
The decorations are a mix of classic English elegance, such as white and gold décor, antiques like ornamental mirrors, 19th-century wood armchairs, and George IV's candelabra, coupled with personal artifacts from King George III's porcelain dinner set and portraits.
Together this makes it a unique room that offers a luxurious backdrop for entertaining visiting guests – everything needed to make them feel like true royalty!
The Royal Mews
Ever wondered what it takes to transport the Royal Family around in style? Visit Buckingham Palace uncover the secrets of Royal Mews historic royal carriages — including the iconic 260-year-old Gold State Coach, used for grand occasions, and modern cars, cared for by skilled staff at their home within its illustrious grounds.
From shining carriage horses with golden harnesses, to luxury state-of-the art vehicles; each is meticulously prepared for major ceremonial events that take place throughout London.
The Royal Mews is situated within the grounds of Buckingham Palace, near the Queen's Gallery, south of Buckingham Palace Gardens.
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
The site of the current Queen's Gallery has a rich history. Originally designed by John Nash as the winter garden of Buckingham Palace, later it was transformed into an exquisite private palace chapel for Queen Victoria in 1843 - until tragically being destroyed during world war ii.
When The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh took over redevelopment efforts just two decades later, they created something even more breathtaking: The permanent exhibition space dedicated to showcasing 450 pieces from the distinguished Royal Collection as part of her legacy at Buckingham Palace – what would become known as the esteemed 'Queen's Gallery'.
Where exactly is Buckingham Palace?
Buckingham Palace is located in central London. Victoria, Green Park, and Hyde Park Corner are the closest Tube stations.
How to get to Buckingham Palace?
Buckingham Palace can be reached by tube, taking a train from any station on the London Underground network to Victoria Coach Station, Hyde Park Corner and Green Park, which are quite close to the Palace.
Alternatively, visitors could opt for a bus ride to the palace via routes C1, C10, 11 and 211 to Buckingham Palace Road, from there it is just a few minutes walk to Buckingham Palace.
There are also car parking and bicycle racks available at nearby locations for those wishing to drive or bike respectively.
Who lives at Buckingham Palace?
Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain's reigning monarch since Queen Victoria moved in back in 1837. It is a working palace and served as the home of Queen Elizabeth II for around 70 years, which used it both to host state events and to host dignitaries such as the Privy Council, bishops, foreign and British ambassadors, the armed services and the civil service.
Now, following Her Majesty's death, it is expected that King Charles III and Camilla will take up the main royal roles at Buckingham Palace.
Aside, the palace is used as their London home base by other members of the Royal Family. William and Harry and their wives Princess , Catherine, and Meghan, plus Her Majesty's grandchildren.
How many rooms does Buckingham Palace have?
Buckingham Palace is a world-famous landmark that excites people from around the globe. It has 775 rooms, with 19 state rooms, 92 offices, 52 guest bedrooms and royal bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, and 78 bathrooms.
This majestic building is not just a tourist attraction for visitors, but also a home to many members of the Royal Family. Additionally, it has a post office, a movie theater, a swimming pool, a doctor's office, and a jeweler's workshop.
How big is Buckingham Palace?
Buckingham Palace is one of the largest royal residences in the world, boasting 77,000 square meters of floor space and a height of 24 meters. The size of its façade is even more impressive - it extends to 108 meters at its widest point.
Despite its enormous size, it is only the world's 15th largest palace.
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In conclusion, a visit to Buckingham Palace is an unforgettable journey into the heart of British history and royalty. The palace's resplendent architecture and regal significance offer a captivating glimpse into the world of the British monarchy, past and present.
As visitors explore the lavish State Rooms, stroll through the impeccably maintained gardens, and witness the prestigious Changing of the Guard ceremony, they are immersed in a living legacy that transcends time.
Leaving Buckingham Palace, one departs with a profound appreciation for London's rich cultural heritage and the timeless grace that characterizes not only the city but the entire United Kingdom. It is an experience that resonates with the enduring history found within these palace walls, inviting all who come to partake in its splendor and historical significance.