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Buckingham Palace :: London, England

August 15, 2010 by  
Category: Landmarks

Buckingham Palace is a part of the legacy carried from Britain’s Kings and Queens who built this official Royal Residence to be held in trust for future generations. It was intended to be a home for the members of the Royal family, working buildings of the official royal staff, entertaining official guests, and also for hosting formal events and ceremonies. Since 1837, the Buckingham Palace has remained one of the most famous icons of Britain and today it serves to be the central administrative headquarters of the country.

The palace today has 775 rooms. The building is 24 meters high, 120 meters deep and 108 meters long. The rooms are divided as 19 State rooms, 92 offices, 52 royal bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, and 188 staff bedrooms. These offices and accommodations help the support staff of the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh as well as of their immediate family to run the show in proper co-ordination. The day-to-day activities are harmonized from this central headquarters.

You might believe that this was some museum or art gallery considering the vast rich collections on display in this amazing palace. Yet it is neither of them. This no-nonsense building has served an important role in the administration of the entire country. It has remained witness to many important Royal ceremonies, State Visits and inaugurations held by the Royal Family. Furnished and embellished in the most beautiful way, this place is bejeweled with the most priceless works of art carried forward for generations.

According to statistics, more than 50,000 people visit the Buckingham Palace each year officially. Other visitors who do not visit by invitation are asked to step into the Grand Hall using the Grand Staircase. The portraits set up in the wall by Queen Victoria, the Throne Room used for important occasions, the Ballroom, the East Gallery, the West Gallery, the State Dining Room, the Music Room, Blue and White Drawing Room, the Garden Front, the Bow Room – each has its own saga to narrate and all of them have been most ornamentally laid out.

What was bought by George III for his wife Queen Charlotte is today the focal arena of the British government. There is hardly anyone who would not have heard of the Buckingham Palace and a visit to this place is imperative on your visit to London. The State Rooms can be visited during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September when the Queen resides at the Balmoral Castle. Here you can find some of the finest treasures of the Palace including the exquisite French and British furniture as well as paintings of Rembrandt, Poussin and Canaletto. Finally, do not forget to check out the Changing of Guards that takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11:30 and lasts for 45 minutes. This takes place on every day in summers and on every other day in winters. The easiest way to get to Buckingham Palace is via the tube stations at Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Victoria or St. James’s Park.

Fodor's London 2012 (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Rick Steves' London 2012
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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London
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