Buckingham Palace

London, United Kingdom | C.1936

Photo Credit: Nicola Pezzatini

With 775 rooms built in a Neoclassical style, Buckingham Palace remains a fixture in British culture as a site of significant royal ceremonies. Located in the City of Westminster, it was the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837 before becoming the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today’s Palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen’s House.

During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British Monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.

Unfortunately, the Palace was not spared from World War II’s destruction; it was hit by five German bombs on September 13th, 1940, also Friday the 13th. But it became an opportunity for the British people to rally around the royal family after they showed courage and a commitment to not flee the UK, and stand up to Axis powers.

Today, the state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. Queen Elizabeth II visits the Palace weekly to meet with the Prime Minister.

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