Originally known as Buckingham House, the palace was owned by the Duke of Buckingham. In 1761 is bought by King George III, for his wife Queen Charlotte, to be used as a family residence. Since then, it was renovated and expanded and has become not only a major tourist attraction, but also an official London residence of British monarchs.
Buckingham House officially has become royal palace with the assumption to power of Queen Victoria in 1873. Its most recent expansion is in the late 19th, early 20th century. It includes the eastern wing of the well-known balcony from which the royal families welcome people from outside.
During World War II, the chapel of the palace was destroyed by German bombs. In its place was built the Royal Gallery, which opened its doors to visitors in 1962.
Buckingham Palace is situated in a huge green park, within which there are lakes, wild birds, squirrels and lots of people. A straight boulevard leads to the palace crossing the park, and at every 50 meters on both sides are placed flags of Great Britain.
The palace is situated in the most attractive part of London – Westminster. The most famous landmarks are there – the House of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square (considered to be the center of London), St. James Park.
There are 188 rooms and 78 bathrooms, 52 bedrooms, 19 reception rooms in the palace. At the time of King George IV the palace did not have large room for entertainment. But Queen Victoria corrected this and in the period 1853-1855 built the largest room for those days in London. The ballroom is 41 meters long, 20 meters wide and 15 meters height. It still remains the largest room in the palace. Opened in 1856 with a ball in honor of the end of the Crimean War. The garden of the palace is situated on 16 acres. In the spring there are beautiful yellow daffodils blooming.
Years ago the entry into Buckingham Palace was absolutely forbidden. Now it is open to visitors from August to early October. Furthermore the queen gives admission once a year. No confirmation is waited from the invited because it is believed invitations from the Queen can not be denied.
The most interesting for young visitors are the guards guarding the entrance of the residency. The rumors say that they never smile. But besides the change of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace it is necessary to take a look at flag over it. If there is a flag of Great Britain, then the queen is gone. But if she’s there, over the building, her personal flag is waving.
In addition the official residence of the British Queen , the Buckingham Palace is an administrative building of the monarchy. Besides Elizabeth II and Prince Philip the building is inhabited by their entouragethat serve the members of the royal family.
In Buckingham are greeted other royal personages who come on official visits to Britain. Buckingham is furnished with masterpieces from the unique collection of the British royal family.
The Royal Collection includes exceptional works of art, including thousands of drawings, 9,000 paintings, watercolors and prints, enamels and miniatures, furniture, as well as thousands of books, glass, sculpture, arms and armor, porcelain, textiles, gold, jewelry (including the world famous Diamonds of the crown), silver. There are masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt, Pusen, Canaletto, Vermeer.