Buckingham Palace is well-known as the official London residence of Her Majesty, The Queen. Apart from being a beloved tourist attraction, the Palace and its grounds serve as an official residence, an administrative centre, and an important location for hosting ceremonies and handling political affairs in the UK. Before you buy your sightseeing bus tour tickets and hop off at stop 19 on the yellow route, we’ve prepared 36 fun facts about Buckingham Palace that might come in handy…
1. The Duke of Buckingham, John Sheffield was the original owner of the palace
Hence the name! It became an official residence for sitting monarchs 76 years after King George III bought it, on the accession of Queen Victoria.
2. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms
There are 775 different rooms in the Palace, 19 Staterooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, almost 100 offices, and an amazing number of 78 different bathrooms, too.
3. How about doors?
At last count, there are over 1,500 of them in the Palace.
4. Floor space
The palace covers over 77,000 square meters of floor space.
5. The ballroom is the largest room
36.6 m long, 18m wide, and 13.5 m high, the ballroom earns the award for the largest room at this fascinating palace.
6. The first event in the ballroom
The celebration of the end of the Crimean War was the first event ever held in the Palace’s magnificent ballroom.
7. Investiture ceremonies
These ceremonies take place in the Royal Ballroom, including the famous ceremony wherein distinguished British citizens become knighted.
8. Woodrow Wilson was the first US President to visit Buckingham Palace
Therefore, American heads of state have only been visiting the Queen for around 100 years.
9. The Palace uses signals
The Palace uses a ‘flag signal’ to show when the Queen is in residence, if they are at home, the ‘Royal Standard’ flies atop the Palace and when she’s not around, the Union Jack flies, instead.
10. The architect was sacked
John Nash, responsible for the Palace’s current look chose to exceed budgets, and the officials fired him outright.
11. Secret tunnels
The Palace is built on top of a series of intricate, secret tunnels. In fact, at one stage, a man was found to be living there by George VI.
12. Palace residents
It is not just the Queen and Prince Philip’s home it’s also the London domicile of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie of Wessex, as well as Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
13. By order of King George V
During the First World War, Buckingham Palace joined in rationing efforts by order of King George V.
14. It survived 9 bombing raids
The Palace managed to survive up to nine separate bombing raids during the Second World War.
15. Can we interest you in a movie?
The Palace boasts many modern facilities including a full cinema, a cash machine, and even a Post Office and police station.
16. The Palace garden has a private lake
In fact, the Palace boasts of many different features and facilities, like a private lake as well as a full-size tennis court.
17. The ‘balcony waving’ tradition
18. A famous use of the balcony
Some of the most famous events when the balcony was used to greet the crowds are King George V’s appearance on the eve of World War I, or more recently, Kate Middleton and Prince William’s post-wedding kiss.
19. The Palace’s size
Buckingham Palace grounds extend up to nearly 40 acres, gardens included.
20. Buckingham Palace location
It resides in the very heart of London, surrounded by the lavish St. James and Green Park.
21. The Palace’s original construction
Built as the Buckingham House in 1703, the palace was originally constructed by English Gentleman and architect William Winde as a large townhouse for Duke Buckingham.
22. The Queen’s House
The house earned its title The Queen’s House in 1761 when King George III bought the property as a private residence for Queen Charlotte.
23. 19th Century renovations
The Palace underwent renovations, adding three additional wings that surround a central courtyard.
24. London residence
In 1837, Buckingham Palace became the London residence of one of Britain’s most renowned and longest-reigning monarchs, Queen Victoria.
25. An intruder
In 1982, Michael Fagan broke into the Royal Residence, entering Queen Elizabeth II’s very own bedroom.
26. Who owns the Palace?
The Palace isn’t privately owned by The Queen, in fact, it’s held in trust by the Crown Estate.
27. “The Crown”
Despite the Netflix series “The Crown” placing many scenes within Buckingham Palace, the real palace was never used by the cast.
28. It’s open to the public
From late July to late September, the amazing Buckingham palace’s State Rooms are open to the public.
29. The State Rooms
When the palace is open to the public, the stateroom tour can take around 2-2.5 hours, giving tourists plenty of time to take in the palace’s beauty.
30. Changing of the Guard
The ceremony occurs just outside of Buckingham Palace at 10:45 and lasts around 45 minutes. The real handover between guards occurs at 11 a.m.
31. Military bands
Military bands accompany the guards at the ceremony playing play both traditional military music and a mix of popular music.
32. What’s the time?
There’s even a clockmaker employed by the palace who maintains over 350 clocks and watches.
33. Let there be light!
Over 40,000 light bulbs fill the entire Palace.
34. The Queen’s Golden Jubilee
In 2002, over 1 million people from all over the world attended The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
35. Life and death
Edward VII remains the only monarch to both be born and pass away at Buckingham Palace.
Each year, a staggering number of over 50,000 guests are invited to the Palace.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Buckingham Palace? Share them in the comments below!
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