Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world and a major tourist attraction in London. The palace was originally built in 1703 by the Duke of Buckingham, and it has been the official residence of the British monarchy since 1837. It is the administrative headquarters of the monarchy and the focal point of royal hospitality.
History of Buckingham Palace
The original building was a private home for the Duke of Buckingham and it was known as Buckingham House. In 1761, King George III purchased the house for his wife, Queen Charlotte, and it became known as The Queen’s House. In 1762, it was extended and renamed Buckingham Palace. In 1820, King George IV commissioned the architect John Nash to remodel and enlarge the palace, creating the building that we see today.
Architecture of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is a blend of architectural styles, from the Neoclassical façade to the Baroque and Gothic details. The palace is composed of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. It also includes a cinema, swimming pool, and a post office.
The East Wing
The East Wing is the oldest part of the palace, dating back to 1762. It contains the Ballroom, the Throne Room, and the Green Drawing Room, as well as a number of private apartments. The East Wing is also home to the Royal Collection, one of the largest and most important art collections in the world.
The West Wing
The West Wing was added in 1847 and is the largest of the four wings. It contains the Picture Gallery, which houses some of the Royal Collection’s greatest works, as well as the Grand Staircase, the State Dining Room, and the White Drawing Room.
Gardens of Buckingham Palace
The grounds of Buckingham Palace are home to the famous Buckingham Palace Garden, which was first planted in the 1820s. The garden is divided into four distinct sections: the East Garden, the West Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Sunken Garden. The gardens are home to a variety of plants, trees, and flowers, and they also feature a lake and several statues.
Buckingham Palace Today
Buckingham Palace is still the official residence of the British monarchy and it is used for ceremonial and state occasions, such as royal receptions and investitures. The palace is also open to the public during the summer months, allowing visitors to explore the State Rooms and Gardens.
Buckingham Palace is an iconic symbol of British royalty and one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Its history, architecture, and gardens make it a popular tourist destination and a must-see for any visitor to London.