London Travel: Buckingham Palace
If you are considering a trip to London, you must visit Buckingham palace. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions. It remains the official home of the noble monarchy including the Queen and has been since the early 1800’s.
The palace was originally constructed for the Duke of Buckingham in the early 1700’s. The house is designed around a courtyard and has 3 wings. The house was expanded after George the III purchased it.
In the early 1900’s major modifications were done to add a formal ballroom, extra bedrooms for visitors, and other additional rooms such as a nursery.
Most of the palace is open to visitors daily, and approximately 40,000 guests as well as invitees visit the palace annually. The palace is comprised of office and residential areas.
During late Summer and Fall, the state rooms are open to visitors. Throughout the year, various rooms are open to the public for viewing. The building is a pleasure in and of itself but, there are also crowned jewels, furniture and luxurious décor.
The Queens gallery contains unbelievable original paintings done by Rubens, Vermeer and other great artists. In the Royal Mews, there are ever changing works of art on display year round and are a spectacle to see and admire!
While at the Royal Mews, which has stables, which are a must see! A three ton coach with 6-8 horses is used for special events for coronations and balls.
The Royal garden is at least 30 acres, and provides a peaceful walk with breath taking flowers and a gorgeous view of the lake.
The Palace has been guarded since the 1600’s and I am sure you have heard of the changing of the guard. It is formally known as the Guard Mount and their job is to protect the palace. Although the actual changing of the guard is a spectacle in and of itself. The well rehearsed event is meticulously done religiously at the same time every day. Spectators come from across the world to view the changing of the guard.
The band performs a traditional march as the guards replace each other and man their post. There are four other guards that stand at the front of the building. If the Queen is away, there are only two guards present.
The guards are trained to be attentive and are not distracted by others. Although there are attempts to gain their attention, they do not succeed. The guards wear a red tunic and an animal skin outfit. It is an honor to guard the Queen and whomever mans the post realizes they have a lofty order that they easily obey and take pride in.
The ceremony begins at approximately 11:15 in the morning and takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. It is an unforgettable event and one that you should observe if you travel to London.