Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British monarchy in London since 1837. The palace was originally known as Buckingham House, because it was the town house of the Dukes of Buckingham who had owned it since the early 18th century. In 1762 the residence was purchased by King George III and used as his private residence.
In 1762 the architect John Nash, began the renovation and expansion of the building, during which three wings were formed around a central courtyard. The last major structural additions were made at the time of Queen Victoria. When the north and south wings of the building were demolished. These sections of the building were rebuilt on a larger scale. The changes mainly involved the addition of a triumphal arch, the Marble Arch, which commemorated the British victories in Trafalgar and Waterloo.
In 1913 the eastern front of the facade was covered in Portland stone by Sir Aston Webb. Today the palace is above all the official residence of the queen.
THE QUEEN’S RESIDENCE
Some areas of Buckingham Palace are open to tourists on a regular basis. The rooms of the State Rooms are open to tourists in August and September. These rooms house some masterpieces from the royal collections. There are mainly paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude. But there are also sculptures by Canova and Chantrey. They also host a rich collection of Sèvres porcelain and also English and French period furniture.
Next to Buckingham Palace are the gardens of Green Park, Buchingham Palace Gardens and St. James’s Park. The large park of Hyde Park is also nearby.
Opening hours: 26th July – 24th September: open every day, 09.45am – 6.00pm (last admission 3.45pm). Prices: Adults £ 14.00. Over 60 / Students £ 12.50. Children under 17 £ 8.00. Children under 5 free admission. Families £ 36.00 (2 adults, 3 children under 17).
How to get there: To reach Buckingham Palace you can use the Green Park, St. James’s Park, Victoria and Hyde Park Corner underground stations.