Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official and main royal London home. It has been the official London residence of Britain’s monarchy since 1837. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there. Located in the heart of London and surrounded by 2 royal parks, a trip to Buckingham Palace is a must for any visitor to London during July, August and September.
The 19 State Rooms at the palace are regularly used by the Royal family to entertain guests on their State, ceremonial and official visits to the United Kingdom. During August and September the Queen makes her yearly visit to Scotland allowing the palace to open up these lavish rooms to the public.
Five regiments of Foot Guards guard the Palace. They wear red jackets and tall, furry hats called bearskins. When the first guards come on duty, there is a ceremony called the Changing of the Guard.
Every year, more than 50,000 people come to the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions, and Royal Garden Parties.
The Palace has around 600 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, a cinema and a swimming pool. It also has its own post office and police station.
About 400 people work at the Palace, including domestic servants, chefs, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, gardeners, chauffeurs, electricians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks.
The reception of the 2011 Royal Wedding was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at the Palace, and Prince William and Kate Middleton were greeted by hundreds of thousands rejoicing fans and well wishers as they posed for pictures on the famous East Front balcony.