Buckingham Palace is the main workplace and London residence of the British monarchy. The palace is situated in the City of Westminster and it often hosts royal hospitality and state occasions. Originally called Buckingham House, it was constructed in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. Nowadays, the Buckingham Palace Garden is considered the London’s largest private garden. In the summer, parts of the palace, including The Queen’s Gallery, The Royal Mews, The State Rooms and The Gardens are opened for public visits.
- The State Rooms – These are the public rooms where the monarchs receive, entertain and reward the visiting dignitaries and guests. They are also used for official and ceremonial occasions. The palace features 19 State Rooms where most of the decor were made or bought for the London home of George IV’s – the Carlton House. The other pieces of furniture and items are part of the Royal Collection that includes Sèvres porcelain, Canova sculptures, Canaletto and Van Dyck paintings and fine French and English furniture. Some of the most notable State Rooms are the Throne Room, the White Drawing Room and the Music Room.
- The Queen’s Gallery – This public art gallery is located on the west side of Buckingham Palace and its exhibitions feature works of art appertaining to the Royal Collection. In 1999 it was closed for renovation and it was re-opened in May 2002 by The Queen. The re-opening was included in the Golden Jubilee festivities.
- Royal Mews – These include the carriage house, stables and garage appertaining to the British Royal Family. Initially, the Royal Mews were located at Charing Cross, but they were moved to Buckingham Palace in the early 1820s. If you choose to visit this attraction, you will be able to see the state carriages, coaches, the state motor cars and almost 30 horses. The latest addition to the collection is the Diamond Jubilee State Coach which was used at The Diamond Jubilee of the Queen.
- The Buckingham Palace Garden – This is situated behind the Buckingham Palace and it covers an area of 42 acres. The garden features a variety of plants and it even includes a mulberry tree that dates from the James I of England reign. Other important features are the Waterloo Vase, the 19th-century lake with its flamingoes flock, the tennis court, the helicopter pad and the summerhouse. During the summer months it also includes a gift shop for tourists.
The Buckingham Palace is opened for the public only during the summer months.
Royal Day Out – Admission to the Royal Mews, State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and the Garden. Includes audio tour.
|Family (2 adults and 3 children)||£88.50|
The State Rooms and Buckingham Palace
|Family (2 adults and 3 children)||£50.75|
The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour
|Family (2 adults and 3 children)||£74.00|
Note: There is a timed-admission fee of 1.25 GBP per ticket for all rates mentioned above.
Exclusive Evening Tour – £75.00 per person (price includes a glass of champagne, 20% discount in the shop and the official guidebook copy).
The State Rooms and Buckingham Palace for Groups (15+)
|Child (Under 5)||Free|
The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour for Groups (15+)
|Child (under 5)||Free|
- Ice Cream in the Garden – Go to the ice cream tent in the Buckingham Palace Garden and get a specially made ice cream. You will find it as you leave the garden.
- Changing of the Guards – The official start time for the changing of the guards is at 11:30am and the entire ceremony lasts half an hour until 12:00pm.
- Train – Take one of the National Rail trains and stop at London Victoria Station. From there, you will see the Buckingham Palace signposted.
- London Underground – The nearest underground stations to Buckingham Palace are Hyde Park Corner, Green Park and Victoria.
- Bus – Take one of the buses C10, C1, 211 or 11 and get off at Buckingham Palace Road.
A series of 3 houses – Goring House, Arlington House and Buckingham House – have been constructed on the site before the actual palace was built. The last one, Buckingham House, is actually the core of the today’s palace.
The house was renovated between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century and it was soon transformed into a palace by George IV. The architect who designed most of the palace was John Nash. The design is a reminder of the French neo-classical buildings, as George IV wanted. The work was finished by Edward Blore who was hired by William IV.
In 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended the throne, the Buckingham Palace became the official royal residence and it has remained so ever since. Throughout the years, various other wings and additional buildings have been constructed to cater for the royal families’ necessities. The ballroom wing and the East Front facing are only some of the additions that transformed it into the amazing palace that it is today.
- Buckingham Palace is visited by more than 50,000 people every year. Some of them are simple tourists, while others are important personalities, heads of state and statesmen.
- There are 775 rooms inside the Buckingham Palace: 19 State Rooms, 92 offices, 52 guest and Royal bedrooms, 78 bathrooms and 188 staff bedrooms.
- Buckingham Palace features its own cinema, chapel, doctor’s surgery, post office, staff cafeteria and swimming pool.
- Some of the most distinguished historic figures who have visited the Buckingham Palace are Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, Mahatma Gandhi, JF Kennedy, Charles Dickens, Johann Strauss the Younger and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.