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Located in the heart of Westminster City, Buckingham Palace is the official residence and administrative headquarters of the United Kingdom Monarch. The monarchy uses the palace as a place for royal hospitality and for important occasions of the state.
1. In 1703 it was called Buckingham House and was originally built as a large house for the Duke of Buckingham.
2. In 1761, King George III bought the property for the purpose of private residence for Queen Charlotte, thus obtaining the title of The Queen’s House.
3. In 1837, the palace became the London residence of one of Britain’s best-known monarchs, with the longest reign, Queen Victoria.
4. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. Of these rooms, 188 are staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms and 19 state rooms.
5. In total, the grounds of Buckingham Palace cover 15 hectares.
6. Buckingham Palace is not only the home of the Queen and Prince Philip, but also the London residence of the Duke of York (Prince Andrew) and the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife) and their daughter, along with other staff members of the royal family.
7. When the Queen is not at the residence, usually from the end of July until the end of September, the rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to the public, attracting tourists from all over the world.
8. When the Queen is at the residence, her royal flag can be seen flying over Buckingham Palace. This flag is called the Royal Standard. The flag is divided into four quadrants. The first and fourth quadrants are England, the second quadrant is Scotland, and the third quadrant is Ireland. It must be hoisted only in the buildings where the Queen is present.
9. The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony takes place outside Buckingham Palace. In summer, the guard changes daily, and in winter every two days. Also, on rainy days, this ceremony does not take place. Whether it is summer or winter, the program starts at 11 a.m. and usually lasts about 45 minutes.
10. The red uniforms worn by the soldiers were chosen for two very practical reasons. At the time the uniforms were created, red was one of the cheapest paints to make and the cost of dressing the guards was low. In terms of military strategy, red is the most difficult color to distinguish from a distance.
11. During World War II, Buckingham Palace survived nine German bombs. Despite the advice of counselors, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) refused to leave their royal residence during the war as a sign of national force.
12. Announcements of royal births and deaths are posted outside Buckingham Palace to inform the public.
13. Edward VII remains the only monarch who was born and died at Buckingham Palace.
14. The palace has many facilities such as ATM, post office, cinema, police station and medical clinic.
15. The Palace Garden is the largest private garden in all of London. It has a tennis court, a lake and even a helicopter runway.
16. Queen Elizabeth II hosts three official garden parties each summer, usually in July.
If you want to find out about British Museum, check out our article on this topic: What is so special about the British Museum?
[Photo from Unsplash]