Buckingham Palace is the London residence and principal workplace of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. It is located in the City of Westminster and often hosts state and royal events of the greatest importance.
Years ago, Buckingham Palace used to be known as Buckingham House. Today’s palace was built around an antique core that was by then a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.
The place was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and was known as “The Queen’s House” during that time. It was later enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who formed three wings around a central courtyard in the 19th century.
In 1837, on the accession of Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace became the official royal palace of the British monarch. The last major structural changes took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These additions included the East front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds outside.
The palace chapel, however, was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II. On this very site, the Queen’s Gallery was built and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
Many of the original early 19th-century interior designs still survive, including the use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. Nonetheless, King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme.
The Buckingham Palace Garden is well known for being the largest private garden in London. As part of the Palace’s Summer Opening that takes place during the months of August and September, the state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are also open to the public.