Known to Londoners as ‘Buck House’, and known around the world as the principal residence of British Monarchs, Buckingham Palace has not been home to the Royal Family as long as you might think – only since Queen Victoria moved her family there in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Palace has around 600 rooms in all, but the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh occupy just a few – about 12 rooms on the first floor of the north wing overlooking Green Park. The rest of the Palace is used by the Royal Household, domestic staff etc. and when you see the Royal Standard flag flying it means the Queen is in residence.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
There are always masses of people around the Palace. They come from all over the world to peer through the iron railings to watch the sentries march up and down. Many come to see the Changing of the Guard which takes place at 11:30 daily from May until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting.
Buckingham Palace – Royal Art Collections in Queen’s Gallery
The Queen’s Gallery is the only part of the Palace open to the public. It is used for exhibitions selected from the extraordinary Royal Collection, a treasure trove of paintings, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, maps, ancient manuscripts, armour, and much more, all showing the personal preferences and taste of kings and queens over more than 500 years.
Like much of London, the Palace did not escape the bombs of the Second World War, The chapel was bombed and almost completely destroyed. It was here that, in 1962, the Queen had the Queen’s Gallery built.
Buckingham Palace -A State Banquet
A royal feast – at least a feast for the eyes. At a royal dinner party the table will be laid for 96 honoured guests with silver and gold cutlery, fine Sevres china dishes and exquisite wine glasses. There’s just one thing missing – the food. But the sense of occasion is there and probably it will be the closest most of us will get to dinner with the Queen.