It may be one of the most famous buildings in the world, but very few people know about Buckingham Palace’s history or indeed, what it’s like to live there now.Allow us to shine a light on this regal building that is every inch a palace.
The History of Buckingham Palace
Buildings have existed on the site since the 17th century but Buckingham Palace, as we know it today, began in the 1760s though at the time it was referred to as Buckingham House. Queen Charlotte was the first royal to live there.
It was King George IV who, in 1826, decided to remodel the house into a palace fit for a royal. However, the first monarch to make it their official residence was none other than Queen Victoria. Since then, it has been a mainstay of royal life, providing a luxurious refuge from the hustle and bustle of London. Throughout the subsequent years, each royal has typically made alterations to both the inside and outside, with facades and grounds evolving with each generation.
During the Second World War, the palace was bombed numerous times and required extensive remodelling. In many ways, it became as much a symbol of national pride and perseverance as the royal family themselves.
Today, Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, although it is not the only place where she lives. It is, however, one of the most famous and recognizable. If you want to know more about the English Royal Family and their residences watch an extensive collection of documentaries on the subject on TrueRoyalty.tv.
Much of the current palace is still based on the initial designs from architect John Nash, as commissioned by King George IV. It draws heavily on the neoclassical architectural style – inspired by ancient roman and greek architecture. However, its general layout is very typical of many Georgian and later palaces, featuring a large central structure of 3 floors. This blend of styles – a regal Georgian court with a facade decked in classical Roman styles perfectly suits the majesty and history of the Royal Family that reside here.
The current structure, which houses the throne room, has been expanded greatly, with three rings creating an inner courtyard. In fact, what most people regard as the ‘front’ of Buckingham Palace is actually the east wing, built in 1847, over 140 years after the initial block.
While it may seem symmetrical from the inner courtyard, the building itself has been expanded unsymmetrically. This can best be seen from above, as the later additions of the ballroom and Queen’s Gallery (built after the Second World War) are nestled here.
Living In Buckingham Palace
As a royal residence, Buckingham Palace ensures the Queen is well looked after. It boasts 775 rooms, including 52 royal and guest bedrooms and 19 state rooms. However, to give you some idea of how much work goes into managing this palatial lifestyle, there are also 188 staff bedrooms.
Of course, Buckingham Palace is also where a lot of important work gets done and, as such, there are 92 offices found throughout the wings. In fact, there are more offices than bathrooms!
And that’s not to mention the dining rooms, living rooms and additional facilities – including an indoor swimming pool – that you seldom see. There are also facilities including a post office and doctor’s office – to ensure neither the royal residents or their staff ever need to leave the building!