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Buckingham Palace has been recognized around the world for almost 200 years. This working royal Palace is also the Queen of England’s and her Royal Family’s official London residence. This magnificent Palace draws tourists from around the world to see royal celebrations as well as the regular Changing The Guard ceremony. As London’s most popular tourist attraction, the Palace gets around 15 million tourists each year. Most of the visitors stand outside its gates to take pictures of the famous facade or to try to catch the scheduled Changing The Guard ceremony. However, what most people don’t know is you can actually visit the inside of this beautiful royal residence.

Here is a guide to getting a self a chance to catch a glimpse of English royalty by visiting Buckingham Palace.

HISTORY

In the middle ages, the site of Buckingham Palace was nothing more than just marshy lands. In 1624 the first house was built on the site by Sir William Blake. Later it became the home of Sir John Sheffield, the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby. It was eventually taken over by King George III in 1761 to use as a family home for his wife, Queen Charlotte. It was then known as the Queen’s house.

Renovations and remodeling happened throughout the years as different crown ownership took over the residences. John Nash was commissioned by King George IV to transform the house into a Palace with a budget of £150,000, which was approved by the parliament. However, the King pushed for £300,000 more in order to design the extravagant Palace he wanted. At the time, the King wanted a French Neo-Classical influence home. By 1829 the costs of Buckingham House increased to over half a million pounds, which cost Nash his job. Unfortunately, the King passed before he could see the completion of the work. The staterooms that you can visit today still remain unchanged since that time.

In July 1837, Buckingham Palace finally became the primary royal residence. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to make this beautiful Palace her home. In 1901, the accession of Edward VII saw new life breathed into the Palace. The King and his wife, Queen Alexandra, had always been at the forefront of London high society, and their friends, known as “the Marlborough House Set”, were considered to be the most eminent and fashionable of the age. Buckingham Palace—the Ballroom, Grand Entrance, Marble Hall, Grand Staircase, vestibules and galleries redecorated in the Belle Époque cream and gold color scheme they retain today—once again became a setting for entertaining on a majestic scale but leaving some to feel King Edward’s heavy redecorations were at odds with Nash’s original work.

The present forecourt of the Palace, where Changing the Guard takes place, was formed in 1911, as part of the Victoria Memorial scheme. In 1913 the last major building work took place when the decision was made to reface the façade. Sir Aston Webb, with several large public buildings to his credit, was commissioned to create a new design. Webb chose Portland Stone, which took 12 months to prepare before building work could begin. When work did start, it took 13 weeks to complete the refacing, a process that included removing the old stonework.

Photo Courtesy of @vittorio_fracasso

THE PALACE TODAY

Photo Courtesy of @photoohemian

Today, Buckingham Palace stands as the centerpiece of the United Kingdom’s constitutional monarchy. It serves as the venue for many royal events and ceremonies, from entertaining foreign Head of States to celebrating achievement at Investitures and receptions. More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to State banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions, and Garden Parties. Her Majesty also holds weekly audiences with the Prime Minister and receives newly-appointed foreign Ambassadors at Buckingham Palace.

One of the best times for visiting Buckingham Palace is during the countries most significant events. During these events, the Royal Family steps out to make an appearance on the Royal balcony. Some of those occasions are The Queen’s annual official birthday celebrations to watch the RAF Flypast at the end of Trooping the Colour, Royal Weddings, as well as special events of national significance such as the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

VISITING BUCKINGHAM PALACE

Photo Courtesy of the @royalcollectiontrust via @townandcountryuk

Instead of standing outside of the Royal Residence of Buckingham Palace, take the opportunity to visit the inside. Buckingham Palace is actually open to the public during the summer and a few tours in the winter and easter. The Royal Collection Trust offers tours which you can book online and reserve spot. They offer a chance to explore the 19 magnificent State Rooms which are open to visitors for 10 weeks each summer and on selected dates during winter and spring. The Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace in 2020 will take place from 25 July – 4 October.

Highlights of the tours include the famous White Drawing Room, Throne Room, Art Galleries, Ballroom, the Grand Staircase,  and London’s largest garden. The Royal Collection Trust offers tours that start at £13.50 with special prices for certain ages and students.

Choose from three tour options:

The Royal Mews Tour

The State Rooms Tour

The Queen Gallery Tour

Photo Courtest of @larkspur.lifestyle

Artem Kam

Artem Kam is the Founder of THE LORES Magazine and THE LORE CO. At the age of 18, he moved to Greenland, where his passion for adventure, travel, and storytelling began. After living in the arctic tundra of Northern Greenland, he moved to the secluded Azores Islands, the archipelago islands of Portugal. Next, his journey took him to mainland Europe, where he spent three years living in Amsterdam and traveling the continent. He is now based in Los Angeles, where he runs The Lore brands while continuing to pursue his passion for adventure, traveling, photography, and storytelling.

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