Address: Buckingham Palace, London


Time: 25th July to 27th September

Time Information:

Phone: +44 (0) 207 766 7300

Entry Price: £35.60 for adult

600m from Victoria

600m from Victoria

In medieval times the site formed part of the Manor of Ebury. It was taken by William the Conqueror who then gave it to Geoffrey de Mandeville who in turn ceded it to Westminster Abbey. With the dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, the land was taken back by the Crown. The freehold was acquired by the Duke of Buckingham who built a townhouse on the land in 1703, known as Buckingham House. Previous dwellings in the area were Goring House and Arlington House.

George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife, Queen Charlotte at a cost of £21,000 and renamed it Queen’s House.

With the help of eminent architect John Nash and £150,000 from the government, George IV then turned it into a palace. It was an enormous project with 1,000 workmen on site. It was grandly decorated and sumptuously furnished. Sadly the king died before he could move in, Nash was fired for extravagance and William IV disliked it so never lived there.

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to move in and from then it became the official residence of the British monarch. Her memorial can be seen outside the main front gates. This was erected in 1911 and has a gold figure of victory on top. When she and Prince Albert needed more room, the east wing with the balcony we see today was built across the courtyard and the front entrance ‘Marble Arch’ was dismantled and moved to Oxford Street.

The palace is an enormous building with over 600 rooms. There are 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. The royal apartments are on the north side with the household staff rooms on the ground floor and south side. The state rooms are open to the public in the summer.

For many, the most famous of the London landmarks, with millions of visitors a year enjoying the view from the main gates or embarking on the guided tour.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.