Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace – The official London residence of the British Monarch, Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognizable London Landmarks and dates back to the 18th century. The site however had changed ownership and purpose of use since the 16th century. In 1703 the Duke of Buckingham and Normandy had a house built here which forms the architectural core of the current building. It became the principal residence of the monarch when Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837 and decided to make this her main residence.
Today the Buckingham Palace serves as the office and London residence of The Queen, as well as the administrative headquarters of the Royal Household. The State Rooms here are used by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State and official occasions.   The Palace’s nineteen state rooms are open to visitors during the months  of           August and September when the Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland.
The tours available in 2008 along with the ticket prices and timings and contact details are available at the official site.

Buckingham Palace, London (Photo: Mike Marrah, Unsplash)

Visiting Buckingham Palace

A Buckingham Palace visit is a very unique experience. There are many things that you can do while you are there. You can stay in a State room, visit the gardens, or even take part in the changing of the guard ceremony.

State rooms

During the summer months, Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public. This allows visitors to explore the 19 magnificent State rooms. These stately rooms are decorated with exquisite artwork and great treasures from the Royal Collection.

There is a multi media guided tour that will guide you through the highlights of the Palace. During this tour, you will learn the most impressive pieces of art, and how the royals use them.

During the summer months, you will also be able to enjoy the garden. Although you are not permitted to take photographs inside the Palace, you can enjoy the beautiful gardens outside.

There are 19 state rooms, each decorated with lavish furniture and art. Some of the finest pieces of furniture in the world are displayed here.

Gardens

Located in the City of Westminster, Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in the capital. It is attached to the Palace and consists of over thirty acres of land.

The private garden features a wisteria-clad summer house and a rose garden. It is also home to over one thousand trees. The garden is a haven for wildlife, with over thirty species of breeding birds. There are also five bee hives that produce 160 jars of honey a year.

The gardens are open to the public on selected days during the summer months. There is also a gift shop and food and drink to buy. The garden is often incorporated into royal events, with Garden Parties drawing 24,000 visitors each year.

In addition to the garden’s plants and flowers, there is also a lake, a tennis court, and a wisteria-clad Summer House. The lake, which is fed by an artificial bore hole, is an important breeding site for water birds.

Changing of the guard ceremony

Changing of the guard is an ancient ceremony performed by the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace. It was first performed during the reign of King Henry VII. The ceremony is normally performed by one of the five Foot Guards regiments, although other infantry battalions may be called upon to perform guard duties.

The ceremony at Buckingham Palace is a long one, lasting about 45 minutes. During this time, the new Guard replaces the old Guard. The ceremony is accompanied by a military band, which plays a number of different types of music. In addition, the ceremony also has a timetable.

Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace (Micah Knuckle, Unsplash)

The Changing of the Guard is performed on alternate days throughout the year, including every Sunday at 10 a.m. The ceremony is also performed on alternate Saturdays in April, May and June.

Gift shop

Located just around the corner from the Queen’s residence, the Buckingham Palace Gift Shop is a great place to pick up official royal merchandise. In addition to food and drink, the store offers a selection of novelty items including a 24-carat gold dog bowl and a Buckingham dog bandana. The shop also plays a patriotic British anthem.

The best selling souvenir at the Buckingham Palace gift shop is a set of cotton tea towels featuring the palace’s emblem. In addition, the shop has a section dedicated to royal culinary skills. The shop also offers a variety of royal ornaments, including a cake plate and a mini teacup. The best part is that every purchase puts money in the pocket of an artist.

For Christmas, the Buckingham Palace Gift Shop offers a range of stuffed Corgi toys, which makes the perfect gift for any Corgi lover. Also available are a set of two towelling slippers with an embroidered lion and unicorn. The slippers come in a matching storage bag.

Accommodation options

Whether you are traveling to London for a business trip or a vacation, accommodation options for visiting Buckingham Palace are plentiful. You can choose from a range of hotels, from luxurious to affordable. Many of the hotels are located close to the palace and have links to the Royal history. They are also located near other popular attractions in London.

The Amba Hotel Charing Cross is located on the The Mall, a historic street that is only a short walk from the palace. The hotel has been in existence for four generations. The hotel is within walking distance of both Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. The hotel is a very popular destination for weddings and other royal events.

The Goring Hotel is a 5-star luxury hotel that is located 500 meters from the palace. The hotel has received a Royal Warrant and has hosted every reigning monarch since 1910. The hotel features a living wall, pictures of kings and queens, and red-liveried doormen. The rooms feature comfortable handmade beds and top-quality linen.