Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elisabeth II. However, it has not always been a palace. Originally this was the mansion of the riotous “Duke of Buckingham”. King George III bought the mansion in 1762 for his wife Charlotte. Buckingham House then became known as the “Queens House”. 14 of George III his children were born here. When George IV took the throne, he decided to turn Buckingham House into a palace. He hired John Nash to realize this renovation. The surface of the house was doubled by the construction of a new wing in the French Neo-classical style, which George IV loved so much. Marble Arch was also built to celebrate the king’s victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo. However, the refurbishment got out of hand financially, in 1829 the costs for the refurbishment amounted to nearly half a million pounds. John Nash was then fired.
Queen Victoria is the first ruler to move to Buckingham Palace in 1837. However, she thought there were too few bedrooms. To make room for a new 4th wing, Marble Arch was moved to the current location.
You can always see if the Queen is at home. If the Royal Standard is in top, then she is home. Otherwise the Union Jack is in top.
Depending on the time of the year, the changing of the guard takes place in front of the palace every day, an impressive ceremony with a great deal of military splendor. The ceremony takes place at 11.30 am. Make sure that you are there in time to get a good spot so that you can shoot nice pictures. Check the Household Division website for the current schedule.
Buckingham Palace has been in July, August and September in the summer months since 1993, when the royal family is on holiday, partially open to visitors. The “State Room”, the “Grand Staircase”, the throne room and various other parts of the palace can then be visited. You can also take a look at the “Queens Gallery”. There are paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck, among others. The entrance fee that is requested is used for the restoration of the fire-struck Windsor Castle.