Buckingham Palace - official London residence of British monarchs
Location show on map
The Mall, SW1, London, United Kingdom
Date of build
From year 1703
Buckingham Palace is the hallmark of the British capital London. It is the largest palace serving as the residence of British monarchs. Buckingham is the seat of the Queen (currently Elizabeth II), where state ceremonies and official meetings are held.
The construction of Buckingham Palace has evolved over the years. In 1703 the construction of the building, which was called Buckingham House and constituted the core of the later Buckingham Palace, began. The building was originally home to the Duke of Buckingham, John Sheffield.
In 1761 George III decided to buy Buckingham House for his wife, Queen Charlotte. There, 14 of all 15 children of George and Charlotte were born there.
In the 1820s, Buckingham House was converted into Buckingham Palace by architect Jan Nash for George IV. Three wings were then added around the courtyard.
The first monarch to use Buckingham Palace as the official residence of the British monarchy was Queen Victoria, who moved there in 1837. Since then, the Palace has served as the official residence of the British rulers in London, and today it is the monarch's administrative headquarters.
In the twentieth century, a balcony was added where the royal family greets the gathered crowds.
The Buckingham Palace miraculously survived 9 German bombings during World War II. Contrary to the advice, during the attacks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth refused to leave their royal residence as a sign of national strength against Nazi Germany.
The building is 108 meters long, 120 meters deep and 24 meters high.
Buckingham Palace has a total of 775 rooms, including: 19 offices, 52 bedrooms, 92 offices, 188 rooms for servants and 78 bathrooms. The building also has its own post office, cinema, swimming pool, police station, theater, doctor's office and jewelry workshop.
The interior is decorated with numerous rooms in Baroque style. There is a Music Hall, whose large arch is the dominant element of the facade, on its sides there are the Blue and White lounges.
The Painting Gallery is a room located in the center of the floor and connecting state rooms. It is 50 meters long and contains works by artists such as Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens or Vermeer.
The Green Drawing Room serves as a huge hallway to the Throne Room and is part of the ceremonial way to the throne from the Guard Room at the top of the Grand Staircase.
The aforementioned staircase is made of bronze and was designed by the architect Jan Nash as part of his order to rebuild the palace between 1825 and 1830. Its impressive double balustrade is decorated with an elaborate pattern of acanthus, oak and bay leaves and is one of the most outstanding bronze casting works in the world.
The largest hall of the building is the Grand Ballroom. It is 36.6 meters long, 18 meters wide and 13.5 meters high.
The palace has more than 800 employees, including watchmakers, who are busy maintaining and adjusting the 350 clocks here every week. The building has 1514 doors and 760 windows, which are washed every 6 weeks.
The gardens of Buckingham Palace are also impressive. With an area of 40 acres, it is the largest private garden in London. They include lakes, helicopter landing, tennis court, and extremely rare species of birds and flowers.
In 1982, Michael Fagan made his way through the walls of Buckingham Palace unnoticed by the Royal Guard and then had a short conversation with Queen Elizabeth before being escorted away by the officers. The 33-year-old is said to have tripped over several alarms and even tasted the wine while in the Palace. Earlier, he made a similar incursion by a man named Edward Jones, who managed to get into private chambers three times between 1838 and 1841, and even sat on the royal throne.
Every year 50 thousand people take part in organized banquets, lunches and events.
During the queen's reign in the palace, the royal flag - Royal Standard - is hung on the roof, and if the queen is not in the residence, the British flag - Union Flag.
The palace is guarded by guards dressed in red uniforms and tall bear fur hats.
"You don't go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater" - Oscar De La Renta