Buckingham Palace, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 418 Reviews

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  • Buckingham Palace, London
    Buckingham Palace, London
    by antistar
  • Across from Buckingham Palace at Green Park
    Across from Buckingham Palace at Green...
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    Across from Buckingham Palace at Green...
    by Skibbe
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Thorough inspection of the New Guard.

    by breughel Updated Feb 1, 2015

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    At 10.45 am starts on the parade ground of Wellington Barracks the formation of the new guard and the inspection of the Guardsmen.
    This was done by a little man; as he wore a normal cap, not a bearskin cap, he looked smaller than the Irish Guards. He was dressed with a dark blue coat, had a sword and spurs at his boots. So that he looked quite different from any guardsmen on the parade ground but he clearly was the chief inspector of all the parade.
    During more than half an hour he inspected each button on the scarlet tunics, checked if the white belts were fitted tightly, if the shoes were clean, the correct position of the riffle at the shoulder. He inspected all ranks: guardsmen, sergeants and even the two officers. A sergeant major was following him writing his remarks on a notebook!

    Among the tourists standing behind the railing of Wellington barracks a number has been in the army like me; we all had the same thought, how could he find defects on Guardsmen who are an example of military perfection?

    At the end of the parade I asked a guardsman at the entry of the barracks who was that man. I was answered the "adjutant" what surprised me because this rank, highest of NCOs, is used in France or Belgium but not to my knowledge in the UK where the equivalent is "Warrant Officer". So I will have to return to learn who was that perfectionist inspecting the mounting Irish Guards.
    After some search on the web I found that Guards Battalions have officers called "adjutants". The one which intrigued me was a Captain, Adjutant 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
    There is also a Colonel, Regimental Adjutant and, last but not least, Prince William is the Irish Guards' first royal colonel (since Feb. 2011) and its Colonel-in-Chief is the Queen.

    Inspection of the new guard at Wellington Barracks Adjutant 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
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    Who is on guard?

    by breughel Updated Feb 1, 2015

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    The guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units.
    As you might know the Household Division is made up of seven Regiments:
    The Household Cavalry Regiment.
    The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals; they wear a metal helmet.
    The five regiments of foot: Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. They wear the bearskin cap (is now made of synthetic fiber).

    To know who is on guard on the day of your visit, look at the following website www.changing-the-guard.com , at "Guard Mount Schedule" where you will find what battalion is on guard on a specific day.
    If you want to see the scarlet tunics and bearskin caps choice a foot guard regiment. During my last visit there was an alternation between the Irish Guards and the Blues and Royals. I choose the day with the Irish Guards with the band of the Grenadier Guards.
    The Irish Guards wear a bleu plume on their bearskin cap.

    There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather.

    Irish Guards at Wellington Barracks. Guard from 2nd Bn PWRR (at Tower).
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    Beautiful gardens

    by LucyStanmore Written Jul 4, 2014

    I've only visited the gardens so I don't know anything about the palace itself. However, I enjoyed my time in those beautiful gardens and if you have the chance, you should go there. I've heard that during the summer, you can also visit the interior of the palace, so you should not miss the opportunity. It's nice to know you're walking the same alleys the Queen walked.

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    Beautiful gardens

    by LucyStanmore Written Jul 4, 2014

    I've only visited the gardens so I don't know anything about the palace itself. However, I enjoyed my time in those beautiful gardens and if you have the chance, you should go there. I've heard that during the summer, you can also visit the interior of the palace, so you should not miss the opportunity. It's nice to know you're walking the same alleys the Queen walked.

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    Buckingham Palace

    by Skibbe Updated May 5, 2014

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    Another stop on the agenda of most tourists. They only offer tours for a brief time every year but I got lucky when I was there. While wandering around the area, the retired palace guard in this picture started talking to me and showing me around. He helped me line up good pictures and told me about his personal experiences with the Royal Family (Princess Margaret was his favorite) and even gave his views on WW II. He was the best tour guide you could get. Don't know if he's still there but you might look for him if you're ever around there.

    My unofficial but very helpful guide Front the of palace Changing of the guard Across from Buckingham Palace at Green Park Across from Buckingham Palace at Green Park
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    On guard in April 2014.

    by breughel Updated Apr 2, 2014

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    On guard in April 2014.
    With the Easter vacation there will be many tourists going to see the change of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace.
    Most spectacular and colorful are the five Guards regiments of foot with their scarlet tunics and bearskin caps (now made of synthetic fiber).

    I would therefore recommend visiting on a day that Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards or Welsh Guards are on duty because it happens that other regiments - less colorful although elite soldiers - alternate with the Guards.
    For the month of April 2014 the various Guards regiments are on duty except on 3, 6, 9 & 12 April where they are replaced by the Queens Colour Squadron RAF.

    The easiest way to recognize the various Guard regiments is by their plume on the bearskin cap: white for the Grenadiers, red for the Coldstream, blue for the Irish (Prince William is colonel of the Irish Guards since 10 Feb. 2011), white and green for the Welsh and no plume for the Scots.

    Buckingham Palace guard change timing is the following:
    11:15 Guards, with bands, start arriving
    11:30 Official start time
    12:00 Guard change ceremony ends
    Please note that there is no Guard Mounting Ceremony in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in very wet weather.

    For details see my reviews "Change of Guards at Wellington Barracks." and "Who is on guard?" or "Thorough inspection of the New Guard."

    Irish Guards.
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    The iconic home of the queen

    by cleocat Written Jan 28, 2014

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    Even my mother who is not very interested in the Royal Family, first request was to see Buckingham Palace. We arrived in time for the change of guards and it is just such an awesome scene. A quick visit to the palace is a must when visiting London.

    Buckingham Palace
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    Changing of the guards

    by solopes Updated Dec 12, 2013

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    It is a "must see" in London the changing of the guards, in the royal palace. Many hundred people compress against the grids, to see a show that, in the palace's yard, has not much to see.

    Part of the changing, daily at 11.00, the other each two days, at 11.30, the show is mainly in the surrounding avenues, with the parade of troops and bands to and from the ceremony.

    Let me tell you a story that defines English (and shames me):

    I was in Whitehall and saw a band, with the big black hat, coming down the avenue. I stepped forward into the avenue and inclined myself framing the scene, waiting for the band to approach enough to fill the picture. When I finished I looked back, and shame on me: three lines of cars were stopped behind me, the crazy guy who forgot that in England traffic is by the left hand. All London waiting for my picture, without honking or any other sign of impatience.

    London - UK London - UK
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  • xoxoxenophile's Profile Photo

    Famous palace & iconic royal guards

    by xoxoxenophile Written Sep 27, 2013

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    We went to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard. You usually can't go in the palace unless the queen isn't there, which I don't think happens very often. We could see the outside of it of course, and some of the royal guards--both the mounted ones and the regular ones with the furry hats--some of them were even part of a sort of royal marching band, though we couldn't hear them play. It's very crowded around Buckingham Palace during this time, and the Changing of the Guard takes a very long time and is a bit boring. We left after 45 minutes and it still wasn't done! Unless you are really close it's difficult to get a good picture. I think it may be a better idea to visit the Palace on an excursion to the Wellington Arch and Green Park nearby as well, and not during the Changing of the Guard. It's probably way less crowded and you can get closer to it and get better pictures.

    Royal Horse Guardsmen at Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace Some of the Royal Guard Royal Horse Guard Buckingham Palace
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    Buckingham Palace

    by antistar Updated Jul 1, 2013

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    Drowning in flowers after Diana's death, decorated by a gaggle of awkward royals decked out in formal dress to welcome newlyweds from the balcony, the changing of the guard, the dull pomposity of Trooping the Colour clogging the airways every year... this is what I've come to know of Buckingham Palace. But to many it's a place of wonder - one of the most famous buildings in the world. Its principle facade, that fronts onto the Mall and Admiralty Arch, is instantly recognisable as the home of the British Monarch.

    Well it's actually only the official London residence of the Queen. The Royal Family have many homes, and many more throughout history. There's Sandringham, Windsor Castle, and Balmoral to name a few. There's nothing really special about Buckingham Palace, and yet at the same time there really is. Probably because it's the most imperious of their homes - it oozes somber stateliness making it perfect for the big occasions, both of celebration and sadness. And that's probably why people remember it the most.

    It's also the most accessible of the Royal residences. Part of that is because it's so central - easily reached from anywhere in London. It attracts the tourists in their droves, and the British public can throng here at a moment's notice. It's also now possible to visit the palace. After the fire at Windsor Castle caused millions of pounds of damage, to be paid for out of the public purse, Buckingham Palace opened up a few of its rooms to tourists in an effort to pay some of that cost.

    Buckingham Palace, London Buckingham Palace, London Buckingham Palace, London Buckingham Palace, London Buckingham Palace, London

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    Queen Victoria Memorial

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 25, 2013

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    The Victoria Memorial is a sculpture placed at the centre of Queen's Gardens in front of Buckingham Palace and dedicated to Queen Victoria.
    The Memorial was dedicated in 1911 by George V and his first cousin, Wilhelm II of Germany, the two senior grandsons of Victoria. The sculptor was Sir Thomas Brock. It was completed with the installation of the final bronze statues in 1924.
    The surround was constructed by the architect Sir Aston Webb, from 2,300 tons of white marble.

    Queen Victoria Memorial
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    Passing The Palace

    by Balam Written Mar 12, 2013

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    From Admiralty Arch we walked down the Mall passed Clarence House and over towards Buckingham Palace, It was packed with people when we visited because the Queen was at home and everybody was hoping she would take the dogs out for a walk or something, it was far to crowded to see or even get near the changing of the Guard but we did see the Life Guard regiment of the Household Cavalry ride up to the Palace, shortly after the Scots Guards marched back from The palace.
    It was really crowded with people and it took us a long time to walk past the palace and get out of the crowds, If you are going to visit at this time it will be crowded so you need to add extra time on for this and please be careful of pick pockets, make sure all your stuff is safe!

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    Victoria Monument

    by mikey_e Written Dec 11, 2012

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    The Victoria Memorial stands prominently outside of Buckingham Palace, at the West end of the Mall. It is dedicated to Queen Victoria, the prolific Monarch who first made the Palace the seat of the Royal Family. Although the statue was dedicated in 1911, the most notable part – the bronze memorial – was not installed until 1924. Designed by Sir Aston Webb, the memorial is said to have a nautical theme, as a memento of the naval power that is said to have provided the British Empire its dominance amongst its European neighbours. The memorial is topped with a bronze statue of Victoria herself, but also contains smaller, darker statues (also of bronze) that depict the Angels of Justice, Truth and Charity. The monumental scale of the Memorial lends itself well not only to official functions, but also to the various tourist groups seeking to get snapshots of Buckingham Palace and the Mall.

    The Victoria Monument from below Victoria Monument The Monument from afar Closer view of the Monument One of the Angels
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    Royal Residence

    by mikey_e Written Dec 11, 2012

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    Buckingham Palace is one of those places where the hordes of tourists are as much part of the attraction as the attraction itself. For those of us who are used to the seats of power and the homes of world leaders being bunkers, it can sometimes seem like Buckingham Palace is wide-open and vulnerable, although expenditures on security apparatus and personnel would prove otherwise. Perhaps it is just the fact that gates – and there are some splendid gates at the front of the Palace – are insufficient for the task of keeping out those who would seek régime change through violence. Buckingham Palace’s site passed back and forth between royals, the aristocracy and others until, finally, in the 1760s, the house on it was renovated in order to provide a living space for Queen Charlotte. These renovations continued for some seventy years, adding massive amounts of space and a neo-Classical façade. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne, however, that it became the residence of the monarch, which it has remained to this day. Although Queen Victoria preferred to live outside of London during the latter part of her reign, the Palace was not sold and King Edward VII, upon his ascension, put it once again in the centre of Royal life and hospitality. The Palace is today open to the public only in August and September, although MPs have recently requested that the public be allowed to view the premises over greater periods each year.

    Buckingham Palace The Gates North wing of the Palace Gates and Tourists Palace behind the Victoria Monument
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    SECURITY AROUND BUCK HOUSE

    by davidjo Written Nov 27, 2012

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    Due to breaches of security over the last 30 years or so extra precautions have been made to keep out intruders so on top of the high wall that surrounds the grounds you will find a metal bar with spiked metal facing 4 directions as it encircles the palace. Above that seems to be an electric fence with about 6 or 7 wires encircling the grounds too along with CCTV cameras every 10 metres or so. Then of course there are warning notices that inform you that trespassing is a very serious crime. Let us hope that the Queen is 100% safe now and will not be bothered by more intruders.. While taking these photos i was half expecting a police car with sirens blazing to carry me off fro interrogation!!!

    you have been warned! spiked metal security cameras spikes and wire

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