Buckingham Palace :: Visitors' Map of London :: A-Z Maps


Buckingham Palace

This, the London Palace of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is one of the Capital's magnetic focal points where large enthusiastic crowds watch the ceremony Changing the Guard. When the Sovereign is in residence the Royal Standard is flown from the central flagpole, at other times the Union Flag is flown. From the balcony beneath, the Royal Family appear on great public occasions.

'Buckingham House', built 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham on the site of a mulberry garden planted by James I, was bought in 1762 by George III as a retreat from court life at St James's. George IV commissioned John Nash in 1824 to build a palace of grandiose proportions to his taste, a scheme not completed during his reign or that of his brother William IV. Queen Victoria took up residence soon after her accession in 1837. In 1847 an east wing was added creating the quadrangle layout of to-day and the original ceremonial entrance Marble Arch, was moved to Hyde Park. The classical Portland stone façade was added 1912-13 as part of the National Memorial to Queen Victoria together with the construction of Queen Victoria Memorial and Admiralty Arch.

The State Apartments, including the Throne Room, State Ballroom and Picture Gallery remain much in the grand style created for George IV, complete with magnificent decorations, furniture and works of art. Investitures and State Banquets are held in the Ballroom. The Bow Room is used in summer months by those invited to attend Royal Garden Parties in the 40 acre garden.

The Queen's Gallery and Royal Mews are also open to the public.

See Also: The Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery

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