A Look Inside Buckingham Palace

Published: 23rd February 2010
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Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis.



Besides being the official London residence of The Queen, Buckingham Palace is also the busy administrative headquarters of the monarchy. The Palace is a working building and the centerpiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family. The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are organized by the Royal Household.



Although Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated with priceless works of art that form part of the Royal collection, one of the major art collections in the world today, it is not an art gallery and nor is it a museum. It's State Rooms form the nucleus of the working Palace and are used regularly by The Queen and members of the Royal family for official and State entertaining. Buckingham Palace is one of the world's most familiar buildings and more than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties.



Today the State Rooms are used extensively by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family to receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. During August and September when The Queen makes her annual visit to Scotland, the Palace's nineteen state rooms are open to visitors.



As the Official Principal Residence of the British Monarch, in other words the London home of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. When Her Majesty is in residence her Royal Standard flies from the mast.



The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. They are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection for example the paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude, sculpture by Canova and Chantrey, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.



The 18 rooms were first opened to visitors in 1993 to help raise funds to repair fire-damaged Windsor Castle. Using the public entrance in Ambassador's Court, visitors pass up the grand staircase and through magnificent state rooms, not entering the royal family's private apartments.



The Throne Room is illuminated by seven chandeliers, and here the Queen carries out formal ceremonial duties. The Green Drawing Room is the first room entered by guests at royal functions . The gold and white Music Room, with its original parquet floor, is used the presentation of State guests and royal christenings. By going down the Ministers' Staircase, and through the Marble Hall, the Garden can be reached which is a haven in the heart of London. Only a 1,500 foot walk is open to the pubic, which goes around the lake, giving a rare view of the west front of the palace.



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