Buckingham Palace was purchased for Queen Charlotte by her husband King George III in the year 1761. It was then called Buckingham House. In the intervening years since then to the present, it went through many incarnations before it became the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth when in London.
Nothing but Rooms!
There are a total of 775 rooms in Buckingham palace. There are 78 bathrooms, 52 guest and Royal bedrooms, 19 State rooms, 92 offices and 188 bedrooms for the staff. Buckingham Palace is headquarters to the Monarchy for administrative purposes. In attendance besides the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen, those that are responsible for the duties of the Royal couple and the day to day routines have offices in the Palace as well as the staff responsible for cleaning, cooking and other assorted household duties.
The Royal Household plans all Royal ceremonies, Investitures and State Visits at the Palace. The immediate family of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth also reside in the great palace.
Luxury and Beauty
Buckingham Palace is not considered to be an art gallery nor a museum. The furnishings are inherited as part of the Royal Collection and include works of art that are priceless. It is considered to be one of the foremost collections of art in the world. The royal family though they own these priceless treasures, passes them down to each succeeding monarch.
Visiting the Palace
It is said that over 50,000 people pay a visit to Buckingham Palace every year. Most of those are invited guests to Royal Garden Parties, receptions, dinner parties, lunches and elaborate banquets. The Throne Room is where most of the wedding photographs are snapped and the Queen uses it on scant occasions to receive addresses from her loyal subjects during events such as Jubilees.
A tour of Buckingham Palace can last as long as 2 ½ hours. You will receive a ticket that is timed and guests are admitted every 15 minutes during the day. You can only use your ticket on the day of purchase at the time that is specified. If you miss it, you will miss out as you will not be admitted after your specific entrance time.
The palace is open to visitors from the end of July through the end of September. The hours of admission are from 9:45 to 18:00. The last admission of the day is at 15:45.
Highlights of the Tour
The Palace Garden is often referred to as the “walled oasis in the middle of London.” Visitors walk on the garden’s south side where they can take in magnificent views of the Palace’s front on the west side and the lake at the tour’s end.
The Palace Ballroom was open to visitors for the first time in 2008. It was grandly set for a Grand Banquet. Visitors can enjoy gazing at some of the greatest paintings of some of the greatest artists of many eras while touring the State Rooms. For more information regarding this Royal Residence, visit the official website at www.royalcollection.org.uk where you can find out more about the exhibitions on display, a shop where you can browse for keepsakes of your visit and more about the Royal Collection.