Home to the British Royal family, Buckingham Palace is the place to go for some real British pomp and ceremony. The Palace is often used for official state occasions, such as the New Years Honours list, and is home to the world-famous changing of the guard.
It is possible to see the Changing of the Guard, usually at 11.30, in the forecourt, if the Queen is in residence. The Guard my be mounted by any of five regiments - the Grenadiers; the Coldstreams; the Scots/ Irish or Welsh Guards.
The house was originally buiilt in 1703 for the newly created Duke of Buckingham. In 1762 it was purchased by George III for his bride Charlotte. John Nash did much of the interior for George IV but it was Victoria who took up residence and turned it into a Palace.
At this time Marble Arch was the state entrance to the Palace. Victoria was responsible for much of the added building. The interior state apartments are now often open in summer with prior booking. They are decorated in the grand manner with many coffered ceilings, columns, tall windows, splendid mirrors and chandeliers, damask wall coverings and much gold leaf.
Current tours exit into the extensive gardens.
Buckingham Palace, the residence of the British queen. On the square in front of it, the famous 'changing of the guards, take place. This event is also intresting at the horseguards-kazerna and less crowdy.
Saint Paul's cathedral (I call it 'my little chaple'). Don't forget to go inside as the dome is wonderful and dazzling.
WestMinsterabbey, where the graves are of many famous British.
The Tower-Bridge, where you can have a great view over The City.
Big Ben, the clock (not the tower itself!) inside the typical tower of the Houses of Parlement.
The streets surrounding Coventry Garden are very alive and a true Walhalla for shoppers.
Buckingham Palace, one of several castles owned by the British Royal family, is one of the major tourist attractions in London, located in Westminster, at the end of the Mall.
The Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of English royalty since 1837. The palace stands in around 40 acres of garden. Visit the Throne Room, Music Room, State Dining Room as well as the many beautifully decorated apartments.
St. James's Palace where new monarchs are proclaimed. Today, serving as Prince Charles's office, this structure was originally built for Henry VIII. In 1649, Charles I walked from here to his execution at Whitehall.
Not open to the public.
Buckingham Palace -
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to call this fabulous palace 'home' in 1837. Part of regal the residence is open, for a price. The Queen's Gallery contains the British Royal Collection, one of the world's greatest and has been open to the public only since 1962, though only a small part is available for viewing.
Buckingham Palace and Guard Change
More photos in travelogue (text later, 2002-Apr-21)
Buckingham Palace is Queen’s residence. If the flag is on, the Queen is at home. To raise funds for restoring the Windsor Castle, part of the palace is now open to public while the Queen is not at home during the summer.
Even though you cannot visit the palace, you can still enjoy the Queen Victoria memorial and the gardens in front of the Buckingham Palace.
Most tourists are attracted to its Change of Guard ceremony, at 11:30 am daily April-October, and every other day other months. The ceremony actually started from the Wellington Barracks close by at 11:00, then the new guards with a band march to the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace.
If you want to see the ceremony, be sure to be there earlier. You could start from the Wellington Barracks, then wait at the road towards the Buckingham Palace where the guards march through, then if you are quick enough, move to just outside of the forecourt of the Palace for the ceremony.
Here among some of the finest pictures and works of art in the world, visitors can see where The Queen and Members of the Royal Family receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions. From the pomp and ceremony of a State Visit, when the Guard of Honour is mounted in the Quadrangle and The Queen entertains the visiting Head of State at a ceremonial banquet, to ministerial and diplomatic audiences, receptions and other events, the State Rooms provide a majestic backdrop to the on going work of the Monarchy. Masterpieces by Vermeer, van Dyck, Rubens, de Hooch, Zuccarelli and Rembrandt are among the forty or so paintings which hang in the Picture Gallery. Fine sculpture, including two groups by Antonio Canova, line the Marble Hall and, in the splendour of the White Drawing Room visitors can see the secret door used by The Queen and the Royal Family. To help visitors enjoy their visit fully, a comprehensive Official Guide is available for purchase in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese languages. Wheelchair users are required to pre-book for the Summer Opening of the State Rooms. Regrettably, due to architectural limitations, The Queen's Gallery is inaccessible to wheelchair users. The Royal Mews, however is fully accessible.
Admission times 4 Aug-30 Sept daily 09.30-16.30. Ticket Office: 30 July-30 Sept daily 09.00-16.00. The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11.30 daily from 1 Apr-early July and on alternate days thereafter. 24 hour information line: 0171 799 2331
Last Admission at 16.30
Adults £11.00 Children £5.50. OAPs £9.00. Advance Purchase via Credit Card (020 7321 2233) booking fee £1.00 per ticket or from the Ticket Office in Green Park. Groups discounts to Summer Opening (min 15): 15-250 people £9.90 per person. Please mention Days Out UK when making enquiries.
Queuing time 15-20mins
All major credit cards
I think all visitors to London should go and see Buckingham Palace(but dont bother going in), Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and The London Eye. Purely so you can say you've seen them!
They are (to the outside world) what London is!
Buckingham Palace is the main home of Queen Elizabeth II and when she is in residence the Royal Standard flies above it. There are over 600 rooms in the palace, but the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh only occupy a small number of them.
In the summer months the state apartments are open to the public, attracting huge crowds of visitors. There are over a dozen rooms that you can visit, including, among others, the Music Room, the State Dining Room and the Throne Room - but you won't get to see the Queen's private rooms. And if you are hoping for a glimpse of the queen you'll be disappointed - when the palace is open to the public the queen is never in residence.