Buckingham Palace, London!

Well here I am taking a large task, needless to say each time in London I missed the guided tour and we just walked around it and take a peek at the changing of the guards. However, we will keep at it, and one day ….. For the time been I like to put some historical facts here for a reminder and hopefully helps those coming to not missed it.

I am talking about the Buckingham Palace of London, UK. A wonderful palace in a very nice area too. Hope you enjoy it.

Buckingham Palace is located in London, the Palace is both the venue for events in relation to the Royal family, the home of many visiting heads of State, and an important tourist attraction. Built for John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and Normandy (yep you know it), in 1703, it is the place of residence of the British monarchy. It was enlarged during the 19C for King George IV. In the middle ages, the site of Buckingham Palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury. It had several Royal occupants since Édward the Confessor and was the subject of numerous speculations about his owner: a flaw in the lease of Charles I of England allowed the land to return to the Royal lap in the 18C.

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First known as Buckingham House, the building forming the heart of today’s Palace was previously a large mansion built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham John Sheffield and acquired by King George III in 1762 to make it his private residence. It was enlarged over the next 75 years. The Palace eventually became the official residence of the British monarchy during Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837. The last major structural additions date from the late 19C and early 20C such as the imposing wing facing the Mall was added, and the former official entrance, Marble Arch, was moved near the Speakers ‘ corner to Hyde Park, where it still is today. The east side façade was redone in 1913 with Portland limestone blocks, in the background of the Victoria Memorial, creating the public façade of Buckingham, with the famous balcony in its center. The St. James Palace remained the Royal residence as well as the place of the official ceremonies. Even today, foreign ambassadors are welcomed to the Court of St. James, although State representatives and their staff are presented at Buckingham Palace when they are appointed.

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The main rooms are located on the noble floor, behind the façade overlooking the western gardens. In the center of these richly adorned rooms is the music room, whose large arch is the main element of the façade. Adjacent to the music room are the blue and white reception lounges. In the center of the suite, the 50 meters long picture gallery serves as a link between the different rooms. Other rooms leading to the gallery are the Throne room and the Green reception lounge. The Green reception lounge, which serves as a Grand antechamber to the Throne room and is part of the ceremonial journey to the hall from the Guard room, contains a white marble statue of Prince Albert, located at the top of the grand staircase.

Just below the official apartments is a series of slightly less solemn rooms, called semi-official apartments, accessible by the Marble hall. These parts are used for less formal occasions, lunches and private hearings. the Room of 1844 which was decorated that year for the official visit of the Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. Then ,in the center, the Hall of the Arch, that thousands of guests cross each year to go to the gardens during the garden parties. The Queen occupies a suite in the north wing for her private use. The Chinese Red and Blue breakfast room is made up of elements of the Brighton banquet and music halls, however the fireplace is Indian-style, although it also comes from Brighton. In the Yellow reception room you can see an 18C tapestry, which was used in 1817 for the Brighton Salon. The chimney in this room is a European transposition of what would be the Chinese equivalent, with mandarins nodding in the niches and scary dragons. In the center of this wing we recognize the famous balcony, and behind its windows is the Central room. It is a Chinese style salon arranged by Queen Mary at the end of the 1920’s, although the lacquered doors were brought from Brighton in 1873. The visiting heads of State occupy the Belgian suite when they are received at the Palace. It is located on the ground floor facing the north gardens.These rooms, whose hallways includes domes, were the first decorated for the uncle of Prince Albert; King Leopold I of the Belgians. King Edward VIII lived there during his short reign.

At the back of Buckingham Palace is the large garden, which is the largest private garden in London. The large artificial lake was completed in 1828 and its water comes from the nearby Serpentine Lake of Hyde Park. Like the Palace, the gardens of Buckingham Palace feature many works of art. The most notable is the vase of Waterloo, a large urn commissioned by Napoleon I to commemorate his upcoming victories, and which in 1815 was presented unfinished to the Prince Regent by Ferdinand III of Tuscany. No floor could withstand a sculpture measuring nearly 4.5 meters and weighing fifteen tons, the work was given to the National Gallery, which finally made this gift to the sovereign in 1906. King Edward VII solved the problem by placing the vase in the garden where it still remains today. In the gardens there is also a small Pavilion attributed to William Kent, built around 1740.

Adjacent to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews, are home to the Royal carriages, including the King’s carriage. This Rococo-style gilded carriage, created by Sir William Chambers in 1760, features panels painted by G. B. Cipriani. Having served for the first time at the official inauguration of the Parliament by king George III in 1762, it is used by the sovereign only in sacred or jubilee ceremonies. The horses solicited for the Royal processions in London are also housed in these stables.

How to get to Buckingham Palace: by Underground/Metro/Subway , the nearest stations are: Victoria District, Circle & Victoria line. Green Park Piccadilly, Victoria & Jubilee line. St James’s Park District & Circle line. By Train, the nearest, mainline, train station: London Victoria; am told about 15 minutes walk. By Bus, lines 11, 211, 239, C1 & C10 Stop on Buckingham Palace Rd. By Car, Not recommended as the palace is in the congestion charge zone, and parking is difficult to find and expensive. We come by car , and stay outside the congestion zone, and to the Palace we used the tube with our oyster cards ::)

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of London on the Palace

Official Royal Residence of Buckingham Palace

The place to get tickets for its guided tours

And this what we have not done buy in advance so when walking around London and decided to come in ,it was either closed for visits or the lines were huge! It will happened we are not far… Hope you have enjoy the history tour of Buckingham Palace , a brief one at that.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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10 Comments to “Buckingham Palace, London!”

  1. I am ashamed to say I’ve never been inside, but it was only opened to the public a few years ago and I no longer live in London, only visiting for specific reasons and not as a tourist. Beautiful city and I love all those large parks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. London – the most visited city in Europe!
    This is my account of the day at the Palace…
    https://apetcher.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/royal-tea-party/
    If you hadn’t got rid of your monarchy you too could have a Palace Garden Party!

    Liked by 1 person

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