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Buckingham Palace History | Construction, Architecture & More

Home to the royal family of the United Kingdom monarchy, Buckingham Palace is still their private residence in London. It has over 775 rooms divided between staff, royal family members, offices, and guests, and it has the world's largest private garden.

Keep reading to learn more about the rich history of the palace.

Timeline

  • 1705: The newly-constructed palace is built for the Duke of Buckingham, John Sheffield.
  • 1762: King George purchases Buckingham Palace for his wife, Queen Charlotte.
  • 1837: Queen Victoria becomes the first sovereign to reside at Buckingham Palace.
  • 1911: The forecourt, where the changing of guards takes place, was added to the palace.
  • 1948: Prince Charles of Wales, the future King of the United Kingdom, is born in Buckingham Palace.
  • 1952: Queen Elizabeth takes oath as the Queen and moves into the palace with Prince Philip.

Buckingham Palace History Explained

Buckingham Palace History

1705

English poet John Sheffield acquired the land where Buckingham Palace stands today in 1698. In 1703, the construction of Buckingham House began for John Sheffield, who became the Duke of Buckingham and Normandy. William Winde, a renowned English architect, designed a large house with service wings for the Duke who would reside there. In 1705, the construction of Buckingham Palace was completed. He moved in and lived there till 1761, after which King George III purchased the palace.

Buckingham Palace History

1762

In 1762, a pivotal event unfolded when King George III acquired Buckingham House from Sir Charles Sheffield for £21,000. This transaction signified the house's transition from a private estate to a royal property and marked the beginning of its transformation into the majestic Buckingham Palace. King George III laid the groundwork for extensive future renovations and expansions by purchasing Buckingham House. This momentous purchase also cemented Buckingham Palace's role as the principal residence of the reigning monarch.

Buckingham Palace History

1837

After being used as the Queen's House for over a century, Buckingham Palace became the monarchy's official residence after Queen Victoria's accession. She was the first sovereign to live inside the palace and made many changes, especially after her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, such as adding a new wing. The couple inhabited the palace until 1861 when Prince Albert died. After his passing, the palace underwent further renovations and development.

Buckingham Palace History

1911

Established in 1911 alongside the Queen Victoria Memorial, Buckingham Palace's forecourt quickly became iconic as the venue for the Changing of the Guard. This traditional ceremony, embodying military precision and historic ritual, showcases guards exchanging duties, symbolizing steadfast royal protection. Drawing global tourists, this event epitomizes British heritage, making the forecourt a stage for one of London's most captivating attractions.

Buckingham Palace History

1948

In 1948, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark welcomed Charles of Wales, their firstborn son. Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace. Many people gathered outside the palace to congratulate Princess Elizabeth, who was first in line for the throne. This marked a new beginning for the family, as Prince Charles, the firstborn, would eventually inherit the throne from his mother. Since then, Buckingham Palace has witnessed many such occasions, be it a royal wedding or the birth of a new royal in the family.

Buckingham Palace History

1952

On 6th February 1952, Princess Elizabeth became the Queen of the United Kingdom and started one of the most successful and long-running reigns in United Kingdom history. She and Prince Philip officially resided in Buckingham Palace, which remained the monarch's official residence until she died in 2022. Buckingham Palace saw many weddings, public gatherings, and addresses and would be the venue to host leaders from other countries during Queen Elizabeth II's reign. After the Queen's death, her fans and people who loved her gathered outside the palace to pay their respects and offer condolences.

Construction of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, a cornerstone of British royal heritage, evolved from Buckingham House, erected in 1705 for the Duke of Buckingham. King George III's acquisition in 1762 for Queen Charlotte initiated its transformation, with Sir William Chambers spearheading extensive remodels (1762-1776) for £73,000. The early 19th century saw John Nash's ambitious yet financially burdensome expansion efforts, later completed by Edward Blore in 1837. Sir Aston Webb's 1913 redesign established the palace's iconic facade and the adjacent Victoria Memorial, introduced in 1911. Housing over 775 rooms, it's been the sovereign's official residence since Queen Victoria, hosting significant ceremonies and celebrations throughout Queen Elizabeth II's tenure.




Buckingham Palace Tickets and Tours

Tickets to Buckingham Palace State Rooms
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The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace Entrance Tickets with Multimedia Guide
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Changing of the Guard with Optional Buckingham Palace Grounds Guided Walking Tour
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Royal London Luxury Coach Tour with Changing of the Guard
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From London: Full Day Guided Tour of Buckhingham Palace & Windsor Castle
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Go City London Explorer Pass: Choose 2 to 7 Attractions
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London Pass by Go City: 90+ attractions
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Buckingham Palace Today

Buckingham Palace History

Frequently Asked Questions About the Buckingham Palace's History

Q. How old is Buckingham Palace?

A.  Built in the year 1705, Buckingham Palace is more than 320 years old.

Q. Why is Buckingham Palace famous?

A. Buckingham Palace is one of the primary residences of the British monarchy.

Q. Where is Buckingham Palace?

A. Buckingham Palace is in the City of Westminster in Central London. The official address is London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom. You can follow these directions on Maps.

Q. Who designed Buckingham Palace?

A. Buckingham Palace was designed by architects John Nash, Edward Blore, Thomas Cubitt, Aston Webb and William Winde over different time periods in history.

Q. What is the architectural style of Buckingham Palace?

A. The architectural style of Buckingham Palace is Neoclassical architecture with elements of Baroque, Rocco and French styles.

Q. How much does it cost to visit Buckingham Palace?

A. The cost to visit Buckingham Palace can range from £30 to £90, depending on your visit type. 

Q. Are there guided tours explaining Buckingham Palace's history?

A. Yes, there are guided tours that take you through the history of Buckingham Palace and provide you with interesting facts about the royal residence.

Q. What are some interesting facts about Buckingham Palace's history?

A. Buckingham Palace was the birthplace of King Charles III. It is also the largest private garden in the world. The palace has 775 rooms, 1514 doors, 78 restrooms and more than 40,000 bulbs that illuminate the palace.

Q. Is it worth visiting Buckingham Palace?

A. Buckingham Palace, one of the British monarchy's oldest and most known private residences, has a rich history. You must visit the palace on your trip to London and see what makes it special.