Buckingham Palace (UK: /ˈbʌkɪŋəm ˈpælɪs/) is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.[a] Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East Front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds. The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II; the Queen's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which survive, include widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The palace has 775 rooms, and the garden is the largest private garden in London. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring.
In the Middle Ages, the site of the future palace formed part of the Manor of Ebury (also called Eia). The marshy ground was watered by the river Tyburn, which still flows below the courtyard and south wing of the palace. Where the river was fordable (at Cow Ford), the village of Eye Cross grew. Ownership of the site changed hands many times; owners included Edward the Confessor and his queen consort Edith of Wessex in late Saxon times, and, after the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror. William gave the site to Geoffrey de Mandeville, who bequeathed it to the monks of Westminster Abbey.[b]
In 1531, Henry VIII acquired the Hospital of St James, which became St James's Palace, from Eton College, and in 1536 he took the Manor of Ebury from Westminster Abbey. These transfers brought the site of Buckingham Palace back into royal hands for the first time since William the Conqueror had given it away almost 500 years earlier.
Various owners leased it from royal landlords and the freehold was the subject of frenzied speculation during the 17th century. By then, the old village of Eye Cross had long since fallen into decay, and the area was mostly wasteland. Needing money, James I sold off part of the Crown freehold but retained part of the site on which he established a 4-acre (16,000 m2) mulberry garden for the production of silk. (This is at the northwest corner of today's palace.) Clement Walker in Anarchia Anglicana (1649) refers to "new-erected sodoms and spintries at the Mulberry Garden at S. James's"; this suggests it may have been a place of debauchery. Eventually, in the late 17th century, the freehold was inherited from the property tycoon Sir Hugh Audley by the great heiress Mary Davies.[c]
Possibly the first house erected within the site was that of a Sir William Blake, around 1624. The next owner was Lord Goring, who from 1633 extended Blake's house and developed much of today's garden, then known as Goring Great Garden. He did not, however, obtain the freehold interest in the mulberry garden. Unbeknown to Goring, in 1640 the document "failed to pass the Great Seal before King Charles I fled London, which it needed to do for legal execution". It was this critical omission that helped the British royal family regain the freehold under King George III.
The improvident Goring defaulted on his rents; Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington obtained the mansion and was occupying it, now known as Goring House, when it burned down in 1674. Arlington House rose on the site—the location of the southern wing of today's palace—the next year. In 1698, John Sheffield, later the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, acquired the lease.
The house which forms the architectural core of the palace was built for the first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703 to the design of William Winde. The style chosen was of a large, three-floored central block with two smaller flanking service wings. Buckingham House was eventually sold by Buckingham's natural son, Sir Charles Sheffield, in 1761 to George III for £21,000.[d] Sheffield's leasehold on the mulberry garden site, the freehold of which was still owned by the royal family, was due to expire in 1774.
Under the new Crown ownership, the building was originally intended as a private retreat for King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, and was accordingly known as The Queen's House. Remodelling of the structure began in 1762. In 1775, an Act of Parliament settled the property on Queen Charlotte, in exchange for her rights to Somerset House,[e] and 14 of her 15 children were born there. Some furnishings were transferred from Carlton House, and others had been bought in France after the French Revolution of 1789. While St James's Palace remained the official and ceremonial royal residence, the name "Buckingham-palace" was used from at least 1791.
After his accession to the throne in 1820, King George IV continued the renovation with the idea in mind of a small, comfortable home. But while the work was in progress, in 1826, the King decided to modify the house into a palace, with the help of his architect John Nash. The external façade was designed keeping in mind the French neo-classical influence preferred by George IV. The cost of the renovations grew dramatically, and by 1829 the extravagance of Nash's designs resulted in his removal as architect. On the death of George IV in 1830, his younger brother King William IV hired Edward Blore to finish the work. After the destruction of the Palace of Westminster by fire in 1834, William considered converting the palace into the new Houses of Parliament.
The east wing of Buckingham Palace, the public façade, enclosing the courtyard, was a later addition, built between 1847 and 1850; it was remodelled to its present form in 1913 (shown on the right).
Buckingham Palace finally became the principal royal residence in 1837, on the accession of Queen Victoria, who was the first monarch to reside there; her predecessor William IV had died before its completion. While the state rooms were a riot of gilt and colour, the necessities of the new palace were somewhat less luxurious. For one thing, it was reported the chimneys smoked so much that the fires had to be allowed to die down, and consequently the court shivered in icy magnificence. Ventilation was so bad that the interior smelled, and when it was decided to install gas lamps, there was a serious worry about the build-up of gas on the lower floors. It was also said that staff were lax and lazy and the palace was dirty. Following the Queen's marriage in 1840, her husband, Prince Albert, concerned himself with a reorganisation of the household offices and staff, and with the design faults of the palace. By the end of 1840, all the problems had been rectified. However, the builders were to return within the decade.
By 1847, the couple had found the palace too small for court life and their growing family, and consequently the new wing, designed by Edward Blore, was built by Thomas Cubitt, enclosing the central quadrangle. The large East Front, facing The Mall, is today the "public face" of Buckingham Palace, and contains the balcony from which the royal family acknowledge the crowds on momentous occasions and after the annual Trooping the Colour. The ballroom wing and a further suite of state rooms were also built in this period, designed by Nash's student Sir James Pennethorne.
Before Prince Albert's death, the palace was frequently the scene of musical entertainments, and the greatest contemporary musicians entertained at Buckingham Palace. The composer Felix Mendelssohn is known to have played there on three occasions. Johann Strauss II and his orchestra played there when in England. Strauss's "Alice Polka" was first performed at the palace in 1849 in honour of the queen's daughter, Princess Alice. Under Victoria, Buckingham Palace was frequently the scene of lavish costume balls, in addition to the usual royal ceremonies, investitures and presentations.
Widowed in 1861, the grief-stricken Queen withdrew from public life and left Buckingham Palace to live at Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle and Osborne House. For many years the palace was seldom used, even neglected. In 1864, a note was found pinned to the fence of Buckingham Palace, saying: "These commanding premises to be let or sold, in consequence of the late occupant's declining business." Eventually, public opinion persuaded the Queen to return to London, though even then she preferred to live elsewhere whenever possible. Court functions were still held at Windsor Castle, presided over by the sombre Queen habitually dressed in mourning black, while Buckingham Palace remained shuttered for most of the year.
The front of the palace measures 108 metres (354 ft) across, by 120 m (390 ft) deep, by 24 m (79 ft) high and contains over 77,000 m2 (830,000 sq ft) of floorspace. The floor area is smaller than the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Papal Palace and Quirinal Palace in Rome, the Louvre in Paris, the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, and the Forbidden City. There are 775 rooms, including 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 principal bedrooms, and 19 state rooms. It also has a post office, cinema, swimming pool, doctor's surgery, and jeweller's workshop.
The principal rooms are contained on the piano nobile behind the west-facing garden façade at the rear of the palace. The centre of this ornate suite of state rooms is the Music Room, its large bow the dominant feature of the façade. Flanking the Music Room are the Blue and the White Drawing Rooms. At the centre of the suite, serving as a corridor to link the state rooms, is the Picture Gallery, which is top-lit and 55 yards (50 m) long. The Gallery is hung with numerous works including some by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens and Vermeer; other rooms leading from the Picture Gallery are the Throne Room and the Green Drawing Room. The Green Drawing Room serves as a huge anteroom to the Throne Room, and is part of the ceremonial route to the throne from the Guard Room at the top of the Grand Staircase. The Guard Room contains white marble statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in Roman costume, set in a tribune lined with tapestries. These very formal rooms are used only for ceremonial and official entertaining, but are open to the public every summer.
Directly underneath the State Apartments are the less grand semi-state apartments. Opening from the Marble Hall, these rooms are used for less formal entertaining, such as luncheon parties and private audiences. Some of the rooms are named and decorated for particular visitors, such as the 1844 Room, decorated in that year for the state visit of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, and the 1855 Room, in honour of the visit of Emperor Napoleon III of France. At the centre of this suite is the Bow Room, through which thousands of guests pass annually to the Queen's Garden Parties. The Queen and Prince Philip use a smaller suite of rooms in the north wing.
Between 1847 and 1850, when Blore was building the new east wing, the Brighton Pavilion was once again plundered of its fittings. As a result, many of the rooms in the new wing have a distinctly oriental atmosphere. The red and blue Chinese Luncheon Room is made up from parts of the Brighton Banqueting and Music Rooms with a large oriental chimney piece designed by Robert Jones and sculpted by Richard Westmacott. It was formerly in the Music Room at the Brighton Pavilion. The ornate clock, known as the Kylin Clock, was made in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China, in the second half of the 18th century; it has a later movement by Benjamin Vulliamy circa 1820. The Yellow Drawing Room has wallpaper supplied in 1817 for the Brighton Saloon, and a chimney piece which is a European vision of how the Chinese chimney piece may appear. It has nodding mandarins in niches and fearsome winged dragons, designed by Robert Jones.
At the centre of this wing is the famous balcony with the Centre Room behind its glass doors. This is a Chinese-style saloon enhanced by Queen Mary, who, working with the designer Sir Charles Allom, created a more "binding" Chinese theme in the late 1920s, although the lacquer doors were brought from Brighton in 1873. Running the length of the piano nobile of the east wing is the great gallery, modestly known as the Principal Corridor, which runs the length of the eastern side of the quadrangle. It has mirrored doors, and mirrored cross walls reflecting porcelain pagodas and other oriental furniture from Brighton. The Chinese Luncheon Room and Yellow Drawing Room are situated at each end of this gallery, with the Centre Room obviously placed in the centre.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle époque cream and gold colour scheme.
When paying a state visit to Britain, foreign heads of state are usually entertained by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. They are allocated a large suite of rooms known as the Belgian Suite, situated at the foot of the Minister's Staircase, on the ground floor of the north-facing Garden Wing. The rooms of the suite are linked by narrow corridors, one of them is given extra height and perspective by saucer domes designed by Nash in the style of Soane. A second corridor in the suite has Gothic-influenced cross-over vaulting. The Belgian Rooms themselves were decorated in their present style and named after Prince Albert's uncle Léopold I, first King of the Belgians. In 1936, the suite briefly became the private apartments of the palace when they were occupied by King Edward VIII.
Investitures, which include the conferring of knighthoods by dubbing with a sword, and other awards take place in the palace's Ballroom, built in 1854. At 36.6 m (120 ft) long, 18 m (59 ft) wide and 13.5 m (44 ft) high, it is the largest room in the palace. It has replaced the throne room in importance and use. During investitures, the Queen stands on the throne dais beneath a giant, domed velvet canopy, known as a shamiana or a baldachin, that was used at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. A military band plays in the musicians' gallery as award recipients approach the Queen and receive their honours, watched by their families and friends.
|Transforming the Ballroom for a State Banquet (timelapse)|
State banquets also take place in the Ballroom; these formal dinners are held on the first evening of a state visit by a foreign head of state. On these occasions, for up to 170 guests in formal "white tie and decorations", including tiaras, the dining table is laid with the Grand Service, a collection of silver-gilt plate made in 1811 for the Prince of Wales, later George IV. The largest and most formal reception at Buckingham Palace takes place every November when the Queen entertains members of the diplomatic corps. On this grand occasion, all the state rooms are in use, as the royal family proceed through them, beginning at the great north doors of the Picture Gallery. As Nash had envisaged, all the large, double-mirrored doors stand open, reflecting the numerous crystal chandeliers and sconces, creating a deliberate optical illusion of space and light.
Smaller ceremonies such as the reception of new ambassadors take place in the "1844 Room". Here too, the Queen holds small lunch parties, and often meetings of the Privy Council. Larger lunch parties often take place in the curved and domed Music Room, or the State Dining Room. Since the bombing of the palace chapel in World War II, royal christenings have sometimes taken place in the Music Room. The Queen's first three children were all baptised there. On all formal occasions, the ceremonies are attended by the Yeomen of the Guard in their historic uniforms, and other officers of the court such as the Lord Chamberlain.
Formerly, men not wearing military uniform wore knee breeches of an 18th-century design. Women's evening dress included trains and tiaras or feathers in their hair (often both). The dress code governing formal court uniform and dress has progressively relaxed. After World War I, when Queen Mary wished to follow fashion by raising her skirts a few inches from the ground, she requested a lady-in-waiting to shorten her own skirt first to gauge the king's reaction. King George V was horrified, so the queen kept her hemline unfashionably low. Following their accession in 1936, King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth, allowed the hemline of daytime skirts to rise. Today, there is no official dress code. Most men invited to Buckingham Palace in the daytime choose to wear service uniform or lounge suits; a minority wear morning coats, and in the evening, depending on the formality of the occasion, black tie or white tie.
Débutantes were aristocratic young ladies making their first entrée into society through presentation to the monarch at court. These occasions, known as "coming out", took place at the palace from the reign of Edward VII. Wearing full court dress, with three ostrich feathers in their hair, débutantes entered, curtsied, and performed a backwards walk and a further curtsey, while manoeuvring a dress train of prescribed length. The ceremony, known as an evening court, corresponded to the "court drawing rooms" of Victoria's reign. After World War II, the ceremony was replaced by less formal afternoon receptions, usually omitting curtsies and court dress. In 1958, the Queen abolished the presentation parties for débutantes, replacing them with Garden Parties,[f] for up to 8,000 invitees in the Garden. They are the largest functions of the year.
The boy Jones was an intruder who gained entry to the palace on three occasions between 1838 and 1841. At least 12 people have managed to gain unauthorised entry into the palace or its grounds since 1914, including Michael Fagan, who broke into the palace twice in 1982 and entered the Queen's bedroom on the second occasion. At the time, news media reported that he had a long conversation with the Queen while she waited for security officers to arrive, but in a 2012 interview with The Independent, Fagan said the Queen ran out of the room and no conversation took place. It was only in 2007 that trespassing on the palace grounds became a specific criminal offence.[g]
At the rear of the palace is the large and park-like garden, which together with its lake is the largest private garden in London. There, the Queen hosts her annual garden parties each summer, and also holds large functions to celebrate royal milestones, such as jubilees. It covers 40 acres (16 ha), and includes a helicopter landing area, a lake, and a tennis court.
Adjacent to the palace is the Royal Mews, also designed by Nash, where the royal carriages, including the Gold State Coach, are housed. This rococo gilt coach, designed by Sir William Chambers in 1760, has painted panels by G. B. Cipriani. It was first used for the State Opening of Parliament by George III in 1762 and has been used by the monarch for every coronation since George IV. It was last used for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Also housed in the mews are the coach horses used at royal ceremonial processions.
The Mall, a ceremonial approach route to the palace, was designed by Sir Aston Webb and completed in 1911 as part of a grand memorial to Queen Victoria. It extends from Admiralty Arch, across St James's Park to the Victoria Memorial. This route is used by the cavalcades and motorcades of visiting heads of state, and by the royal family on state occasions such as the annual Trooping the Colour.
In 1901 the accession of Edward VII saw new life breathed into the palace. The new King and his wife Queen Alexandra had always been at the forefront of London high society, and their friends, known as "the Marlborough House Set", were considered to be the most eminent and fashionable of the age. Buckingham Palace—the Ballroom, Grand Entrance, Marble Hall, Grand Staircase, vestibules and galleries redecorated in the Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme they retain today—once again became a setting for entertaining on a majestic scale but leaving some to feel King Edward's heavy redecorations were at odds with Nash's original work.
The last major building work took place during the reign of King George V when, in 1913, Sir Aston Webb redesigned Blore's 1850 East Front to resemble in part Giacomo Leoni's Lyme Park in Cheshire. This new, refaced principal façade (of Portland stone) was designed to be the backdrop to the Victoria Memorial, a large memorial statue of Queen Victoria, placed outside the main gates. George V, who had succeeded Edward VII in 1910, had a more serious personality than his father; greater emphasis was now placed on official entertaining and royal duties than on lavish parties. He arranged a series of command performances featuring jazz musicians such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (1919) – the first jazz performance for a head of state, Sidney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong (1932), which earned the palace a nomination in 2009 for a (Kind of) Blue Plaque by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of the venues making the greatest contribution to jazz music in the United Kingdom. George V's wife Queen Mary was a connoisseur of the arts, and took a keen interest in the Royal Collection of furniture and art, both restoring and adding to it. Queen Mary also had many new fixtures and fittings installed, such as the pair of marble Empire-style chimneypieces by Benjamin Vulliamy, dating from 1810, which the Queen had installed in the ground floor Bow Room, the huge low room at the centre of the garden façade. Queen Mary was also responsible for the decoration of the Blue Drawing Room. This room, 69 feet (21 metres) long, previously known as the South Drawing Room, has a ceiling designed specially by Nash, coffered with huge gilt console brackets.
During World War I, the palace, then the home of King George V and Queen Mary, escaped unscathed. Its more valuable contents were evacuated to Windsor but the royal family remained in situ. The King imposed rationing at the palace, much to the dismay of his guests and household. To the King's later regret, David Lloyd George persuaded him to go further by ostentatiously locking the wine cellars and refraining from alcohol, to set a good example to the supposedly inebriated working class. The workers continued to imbibe and the King was left unhappy at his enforced abstinence. In 1938, the north-west pavilion, designed by Nash as a conservatory, was converted into a swimming pool.
During World War II, the palace was bombed nine times, the most serious and publicised of which resulted in the destruction of the palace chapel in 1940. Coverage of this event was played in cinemas all over the UK to show the common suffering of rich and poor. One bomb fell in the palace quadrangle while King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were in residence, and many windows were blown in and the chapel destroyed. War-time coverage of such incidents was severely restricted, however. The King and Queen were filmed inspecting their bombed home, the smiling Queen, as always, immaculately dressed in a hat and matching coat seemingly unbothered by the damage around her. It was at this time the Queen famously declared: "I'm glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face". The royal family were seen as sharing their subjects' hardship, as The Sunday Graphic reported:
By the Editor: The King and Queen have endured the ordeal which has come to their subjects. For the second time a German bomber has tried to bring death and destruction to the home of Their Majesties ... When this war is over the common danger which King George and Queen Elizabeth have shared with their people will be a cherished memory and an inspiration through the years.
On 15 September 1940, known as the Battle of Britain Day, an RAF pilot, Ray Holmes of No. 504 Squadron RAF rammed a German bomber he believed was going to bomb the Palace. Holmes had run out of ammunition and made the quick decision to ram it. Holmes bailed out. Both aircraft crashed. In fact the Dornier Do 17 bomber was empty. It had already been damaged, two of its crew had been killed and the remainder bailed out. Its pilot, Feldwebel Robert Zehbe, landed, only to die later of wounds suffered during the attack. During the Dornier's descent, it somehow unloaded its bombs, one of which hit the Palace. It then crashed into the forecourt of London Victoria station. The bomber's engine was later exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in London. The British pilot became a King's Messenger after the war, and died at the age of 90 in 2005.
On VE Day—8 May 1945—the palace was the centre of British celebrations. The King, Queen, Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen), and Princess Margaret appeared on the balcony, with the palace's blacked-out windows behind them, to the cheers from a vast crowd in the Mall. The damaged Palace was carefully restored after the War by John Mowlem & Co. It was designated a Grade I listed building in 1970.
Every year, some 50,000 invited guests are entertained at garden parties, receptions, audiences, and banquets. Three garden parties are held in the summer, usually in July. The forecourt of Buckingham Palace is used for Changing of the Guard, a major ceremony and tourist attraction (daily from April to July; every other day in other months).
The palace, like Windsor Castle, is owned by the reigning monarch in right of the Crown. It is not the monarch's personal property, unlike Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle. Many of the contents from Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, and St James's Palace are part of the Royal Collection, held in trust by the Sovereign; they can, on occasion, be viewed by the public at the Queen's Gallery, near the Royal Mews. Unlike the palace and the castle, the purpose-built gallery is open continually and displays a changing selection of items from the collection. It occupies the site of the chapel destroyed by an air raid in World War II. The palace's state rooms have been open to the public during August and September and on selected dates throughout the year since 1993. The money raised in entry fees was originally put towards the rebuilding of Windsor Castle after the 1992 fire devastated many of its state rooms. In the year to 31 March 2017, 580,000 people visited the palace, and 154,000 visited the gallery.
Her Majesty's Government is responsible for maintaining the palace in exchange for the profits made by the Crown Estate. In November 2015, the State Dining Room was closed for six months because its ceiling had become potentially dangerous. A 10-year schedule of maintenance work, including new plumbing, wiring, boilers, and radiators, and the installation of solar panels on the roof, has been estimated to cost £369 million and was approved by the prime minister in November 2016. It will be funded by a temporary increase in the Sovereign Grant paid from the income of the Crown Estate and is intended to extend the building's working life by at least 50 years. In March 2017, the House of Commons backed funding for the project by 464 votes to 56.
Thus, Buckingham Palace is a symbol and home of the British monarchy, an art gallery, and a tourist attraction. Behind the gilded railings and gates that were completed by the Bromsgrove Guild in 1911 and Webb's famous façade, which has been described in a book published by the Royal Collection Trust as looking "like everybody's idea of a palace", is not only a weekday home of the Queen and Prince Philip but also the London residence of the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The palace also houses their offices, as well as those of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra, and is the workplace of more than 800 people.
Buckingham-palace was the dwelling house of the king.
41 Hotel or No. 41: A Red Carnation Hotel is a luxury hotel in London, England. It is located just south of Buckingham Palace along 41 Buckingham Palace Road.Buckingham Palace Road
Buckingham Palace Road is a street in Victoria, London. It runs from the south side of Buckingham Palace towards Chelsea, forming the A3214 road and is dominated by Victoria Station.Buckingham Palace Stakes
The Buckingham Palace Stakes was a flat handicap horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged three and over. It was run at Ascot over a distance of 7 furlongs (1,408 metres), and was scheduled to take place each year in June on the fourth day of the Royal Ascot meeting.
The Buckingham Palace Stakes was established in 2002, when the Royal Ascot meeting was extended to a fifth day to mark the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II and was named after Buckingham Palace, the London residence of the British monarch. It was last run in 2014 and replaced from the 2015 Royal Ascot meeting by a new Group One sprint race, the Commonwealth Cup. The Sporting Life has called the loss of the only 7 furlong handicap at Royal Ascot a mistake.Children's Party at the Palace
The Children's Party at the Palace was an event organized by Peter Orton of Hit Entertainment and David Johnstone of DJI consult, held at Buckingham Palace Garden on 25 June 2006 in honour of the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The event, which had the theme British children's literature, was attended by 2,000 children and 1,000 adults who were chosen through a national ballot. On arrival, all guests received a purple hamper with snacks put together by Jamie Oliver.For the occasion, the palace grounds were transformed into scenes from children's books including places like the Hundred Acre Wood and 80 costumed characters, and a model of the BFG sitting at a huge piano. The grounds also had an author's corner, where authors like J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Eric Hill and Raymond Briggs read from their books and signed autographs.Diamond Jubilee Concert
The Diamond Jubilee Concert was a British music concert and celebration held outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall in London on 4 June 2012. The concert was organised by Take That singer-songwriter Gary Barlow and was part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.The Diamond Jubilee Concert followed two concerts held at the palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee a decade earlier – the classical themed Prom at the Palace and the pop/rock themed Party at the Palace.
The concert was partially attended by the Queen, who arrived at 9pm, but not by Prince Philip who had been taken to hospital with a bladder infection earlier in the day. Prince Charles and other members of the royal family attended the whole concert.Garden at Buckingham Palace
The Garden at Buckingham Palace is a large private park attached to the London residence of the monarch. It is situated at the rear (west) of Buckingham Palace, occupying a 42 acres (17 ha) site in the City of Westminster, and has two-and-a-half miles of gravel paths. Its area is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west, and the Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery, and Buckingham Palace itself to the south and east.
The gardens are Grade II* listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The planting is varied and exotic, with a mulberry tree dating back to the time of James I of England. The garden covers much of the area of the former Goring Great Garden, named after Lord Goring, occupant of one of the earliest grand houses on the site. It was laid out by Henry Wise and subsequently redesigned by William Townsend Aiton for George IV. Notable features include a large 19th-century lake which was once graced by a flock of flamingoes, and the Waterloo Vase. In the garden there is a summerhouse, a helicopter pad, and a tennis court.
Unlike the nearby Royal Parks of London, Buckingham Palace Garden is not usually open to the public. However, when the palace is open during August and September, visitors have access to part of the garden, which forms the exit, via a gift shop in a marguee, at the end of the tour.
The garden is where the Queen's garden parties are held. In June 2002 she invited the public into the garden for entertainment for the first time during her reign. As part of her Golden Jubilee Weekend thousands of Britons were invited to apply for tickets to Party at the Palace where the guitarist Brian May of the band Queen performed his God Save the Queen guitar solo on top of Buckingham Palace. This concert was preceded the previous evening by a Prom at the Palace. During the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations in 2006 the garden was the scene of Children's Party at the Palace.Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – An 80th Birthday Portrait
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – An 80th Birthday Portrait is a 2005 oil painting of Queen Elizabeth II by Rolf Harris, commissioned by the BBC for the Queen's 80th birthday. It was unveiled at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace and publicly displayed there from 2005 to 2006. A BBC television special about its creation, The Queen, by Rolf, was broadcast on BBC One on 1 January 2006. The painting was voted the second-most-favoured portrait of the Queen by the British public, but critically derided.
Rolf Harris was a popular entertainer on British TV, and was the presenter of Rolf on Art, a BBC series on artists. He took two months to complete the portrait; two sittings were held at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2005, filmed by the BBC; the rest of the painting was completed at Harris' own art studio. The portrait, measuring 100 by 50 centimetres (39 in × 20 in), is in oil of the Queen wearing a turquoise dress. After he completed the portrait Harris' reputation as an artist, and the value of his works increased, and he was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). The award was annulled following his conviction for indecent assault and sexual offences. The ownership and current location of the portrait is unknown.List of Privy Council Orders
This is a list of orders made by the British Privy Council. The list is not complete.
A list of all Orders in Council and Orders of Council dating back to 1994 is held by the Privy Council Office on an Access database. The ID numbers used in this table is the number use in that database.Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble-faced triumphal arch in London, England. The structure was designed by John Nash in 1827 to be the state entrance to the cour d'honneur of Buckingham Palace; it stood near the site of what is today the three-bayed, central projection of the palace containing the well known balcony. In 1851 on the initiative of architect and urban planner, Decimus Burton, one time pupil of John Nash, it was relocated and following the widening of Park Lane in the early 1960s to where it is now sited, incongruently isolated, on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road. Admiralty Arch, Holyhead in Wales is a similar arch, even more so cut off from public access, at the other end of the A5.
Historically, only members of the Royal Family and the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery are permitted to pass through the arch; this happens only in ceremonial processions.The arch gives its name to the area surrounding it, particularly the southern portion of Edgware Road and also to the underground station. The arch is not part of the Royal Parks and is local authority maintained.Michael Fagan incident
Michael Fagan (born 8 August 1948) is a British man who broke into Buckingham Palace and entered Queen Elizabeth II's bedroom in 1982. The incident was one of the 20th century's worst royal security breaches.Party at the Palace
The Party at the Palace, was a British music concert and celebration held in London in 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II held over the Golden Jubilee Weekend 1–4 June 2002. The event itself was hosted at Buckingham Palace Garden on 3 June 2002. It was the pop/rock equivalent of the Prom at the Palace, that showcased classical music.Prom at the Palace
The Prom at the Palace was a British classical music concert held in London in 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. It was held at Buckingham Palace Garden on 1 June 2002 forming part of the Golden Jubilee Weekend. It was the classical equivalent of the Party at the Palace, a pop/rock music event. Its name reflects the popular season of classical concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall, The Proms.Queen's Gallery
The Queen's Gallery is a public art gallery at Buckingham Palace, home of the British monarch, in London. It exhibits works of art from the Royal Collection (those works owned by the King or Queen "in trust for the nation" rather than privately) on a rotating basis; about 450 works are on display at any one time.
The gallery is at the west front of the Palace, on the site of a chapel bombed during the Second World War, and first opened in 1962. Over the following 37 years it received 5 million visitors, until it was closed between 1999 and 2002 for extension work carried out by John Simpson. On 21 May 2002, the gallery was reopened by Elizabeth II to coincide with her Golden Jubilee. The extension added the current Doric entrance portico and several new rooms, more than tripling the size of the building. It is open to the public for much of the year.Queen's Guard
The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard (called King's Guard and King's Life Guard when the reigning monarch is male) are the names given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in the United Kingdom. The British Army has regiments of both Horse Guards and Foot Guards predating the English Restoration (1660), and since the reign of King Charles II these regiments have been responsible for guarding the Sovereign's palaces. Despite tourist perceptions, the Guards are not purely ceremonial and are fully operational soldiers.Royal Collection
The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world.Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom, the collection is owned by Elizabeth II and overseen by the Royal Collection Trust. The Queen owns some of the collection in right of the Crown and some as a private individual. It is made up of over one million objects, including 7,000 paintings, over 150,000 works on paper, this including 30,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 450,000 photographs, as well as tapestries, furniture, ceramics, textiles, carriages, weapons, armour, jewellery, clocks, musical instruments, tableware, plants, manuscripts, books, and sculptures.
Some of the buildings which house the collection, like Hampton Court Palace, are open to the public and not lived in by the Royal Family, whilst others, like Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, are both residences and open to the public. The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London was built specially to exhibit pieces from the collection on a rotating basis. There is a similar art gallery next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and a Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle. The Crown Jewels are on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
About 3,000 objects are on loan to museums throughout the world, and many others are lent on a temporary basis to exhibitions.Royal Mews
The Royal Mews is a mews of the British Royal Family. In London the Royal Mews has occupied two main sites, formerly at Charing Cross, and since the 1820s at Buckingham Palace. The site is open to the public throughout much of the year.St James's Park
St James's Park is a 23-hectare (57-acre) park in the City of Westminster, central London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less. It is the most easterly of a near-continuous chain of parks that also includes (moving westward) Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.The park is bounded by Buckingham Palace to the west, the Mall to the north, Horse Guards to the east, and Birdcage Walk to the south. It meets Green Park at Queen's Gardens with the Victoria Memorial at its centre, opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. St James's Palace is on the opposite side of The Mall. The closest London Underground stations are St James's Park, Green Park, Victoria, and Westminster.The park is Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.The Mall, London
The Mall () is a road in the City of Westminster, central London, between Buckingham Palace at its western end and Trafalgar Square via Admiralty Arch to the east. Near the east end at Trafalgar Square/Whitehall it is met by Horse Guards Road and Spring Gardens where the Metropolitan Board of Works and London County Council were once based. It is closed to traffic on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and on ceremonial occasions.Victoria Memorial, London
The Victoria Memorial is a monument to Queen Victoria, located at the end of The Mall in London, and designed and executed by the sculptor (Sir) Thomas Brock. Designed in 1901, it was unveiled on 16 May 1911, though it was not completed until 1924. It was the centrepiece of an ambitious urban planning scheme, which included the creation of the Queen’s Gardens to a design by Sir Aston Webb, and the refacing of Buckingham Palace (which stands behind the memorial) by the same architect.
Like the earlier Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, commemorating Victoria's consort, the Victoria Memorial has an elaborate scheme of iconographic sculpture. The central pylon of the memorial is of Pentelic marble, and individual statues are in Lasa marble and gilt bronze. The memorial weighs 2,300 tonnes and is 104 ft wide. In 1970 it was listed at Grade I.
|Preserved/used for diplomatic visits|
and public visits
|Royal residences abroad|
Key: ǂ = demolished ¤ = now ruins § = partly demolished