Many ceremonies take place at Buckingham Palace. Investitures – the process of knighting men and women by a ceremonial sword – occur in the palace’s ballroom to military bands playing celebratory music. Banquets happen in the ballroom, too, when the Monarch meets with the rest of the Royal Family and honoured guests. 50,000 guests are invited to Buckingham Palace every year. As the longest reigning Monarch Queen Elizabeth II's dedication to the country was unquestioned. We expect the same dedication from King Charles III.
Buckingham Palace London Private Guided Tours
Perhaps the most known building in the United Kingdom, Buckingham Palace has housed the Head of State (King or Queen) for over 180 years. Buckingham Palace is located in the City of Westminster, a region in London. Built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham, the Royal Family did not acquire the building – originally called Buckingham House – until King George III bought the residence in 1761. The building was expanded in the 19th century by architects John Nash and Edward Blore.
Buckingham Palace has a lot of rooms. In total, there are 775 rooms including a post office, cinema, swimming pool, surgery room and even a jeweller’s workshop. Let’s hope Prince George doesn’t like hide and seek! The entire grounds of Buckingham Palace spans 39 acres. That’s equivalent to over 29 football fields. That’s why, understandably, the palace needs a lot of guards. In fact, there is one for every acre on duty at all times; for a total of 39 soldiers. Surprisingly, then, there have been security incidents where intruders somehow navigated their way through the veteran guards. Such as a case involves Michael Fagan – a London born man who was a “champion safe-breaker”. If Michael is to be believed, he actually broke into Buckingham Palace twice. In June 1982, Fagan supposedly shimmed his way up a drainpipe and made his way into the palace through an unlocked window. Before being spotted by a housemaid, Fagan reports he ate cheese and crackers for half an hour. He escaped before capture. He returned, however, one month later. Using the same drainpipe, this time Fagan broke into the Queen’s bedroom. When the Queen arrived, he even asked her for a cigarette. Showing true British class, the Queen complied before police arrested Fagan and removed him from the palace.
During the Second World War, Buckingham Palace was a target of German bombing. It may surprise then, that the entire 39-acre grounds was only hit by bombs sixteen times – only nine of which were direct. The closest Buckingham Palace came to destruction was actually by a British pilot. In 1940, during the Battle of Britain, Ray Holmes, an RAF pilot, rammed a German bomber after believing it primed to bomb the palace. If not for precise aviation, his own plane would have crashed into Buckingham Palace. It instead crashed into Victoria Station.
Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. When you visit, be sure to watch the changing of the Royal guards.
Buckingham Palace and all it stands for is steeped in history and heritage. Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments, objects and culture, and the Palace certainly fulfills all these criteria. From a 'traditions' angle we have all the pomp and ceremony associated with the royals including investitures and the Changing of the Guard and from a 'monuments' viewpoint there's the imposing façade of the building that has come to symbolise monarchy and authority throughout the world. Not just the Monarch's home but also a working office it has come to represent the voice of the monarchy, where VIPs and citizens are received and entertained. Objects collected from around the world, often as gifts represent the heritage of cultures throughout the globe but there's a more unsavoury side to the heritage of royals past with the monarchy's links to the Royal Africa Company, beginning with the Stuart kings. This is often a theme of some of the Black History tours that explore such connections across the capital.
A West to Central London walking trail majoring on green spaces. An excellent way to see how London developed and how it all fits together.
A West to East London walking trail majoring on green spaces. An excellent way to see how London developed and how it all fits together.
Follow in the footsteps of the Great and the Good in the heart of Westminster, from Royal London to "TheatreLand" and the famous West End... Not to be missed!
An absolute must: see the famous “Changing of the Guard” ceremony in this lovely walk around Westminster's Royal Parks and Palaces. With views of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square & Downing Street.
Visit London's popular attractions in a one day chauffeur-driven drive round tour with an experienced tour guide.
Visit London's popular attractions in a one day private chauffeur-driven tour with an experienced tour guide.