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Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard Tourist Guide

Buckingham Palace, one of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, is also the site of London's most famous pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard. This colourful and free show of precise marching and song draws crowds at 11:30 a.m., regardless of the season, and also takes place in St. James's Palace, after which you may follow the band along The Mall as they march between venues.

Buckingham Palace was constructed in 1837 and has served as the Royal Family's London home since Queen Victoria's accession. Look at the flagpole atop the building whether the royal standard is flying day and night to see if the Queen is in. She and members of the Royal Family may even appear on the central balcony on important state occasions.

Visitors can purchase tickets for tours of the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, and the Royal Mews while the Queen is away at her summer residence in Scotland.

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Phone: 0303 123 7300

Buckingham Palace Address: London SW1A 1AA

Buckingham Palace Official Website 

https://www.rct.uk/visit/buckingham-palace  (link opens in new window)

THE STATE ROOMS

On State, ceremonial, and official events, The Queen and members of the Royal Family greet and entertain their visitors in the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. There are 19 State Rooms, most of which reflect George IV's taste when he commissioned architect John Nash to turn Buckingham House into a stately palace in 1825. Many of the Royal Collection's greatest treasures, including paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto, sculpture by Canova, Sèvres porcelain, and some of the best English and French furniture in the world, are housed in the State Rooms.

Many of the State Rooms are now used for specific purposes. The Queen uses the Throne Room for court ceremonies and formal events, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding portraits were taken there. The White Drawing Chamber, possibly the most opulent of all the State Rooms, is used as a royal welcome room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family before formal events.

THE THRONE ROOM

The architect John Nash's masterwork, the Throne Room's dramatic arch and canopy over the thrones, was heavily influenced by his experience in stage set design. The room's focal point is a pair of throne seats known as Chairs of Estate, which were used during The Queen's coronation ceremony in 1953. There are additional chairs from King George VI's coronation and a solitary throne chair from Queen Victoria's coronation in 1837.

The Queen sat on the chair embroidered with the letters 'EIIR' from the start of the Coronation until she was crowned. She sat in the Throne Chair, which is on exhibit in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle, after the crowning ceremony.

THE BALLROOM

During Queen Victoria's reign, this massive chamber, the biggest of the State Rooms, was built in 1855. It used to be called the Ball and Concert Room, and it had a musicians' gallery with an organ. The Ballroom is still utilised for formal events such as investitures and State Banquets.

In the Ballroom, there are two thrones that were created for King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra's coronation ceremony in 1902. The thrones are in a spectacular location. On top of a triumphal arch flanked by sphinxes and surrounding the royal canopy are statues by William Theed. The winged figures at the top of the arch represent History and Fame, and they hold a medallion with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's profiles.

MUSIC ROOM

The Music Room, formerly known as the Bow Drawing Room, was constructed in 1831 and has remained unchanged since then. This is the chamber where visitors are introduced after gathering in the Green Drawing Room for a supper or banquet. Royal new-borns are occasionally christened here as well; the Queen's three eldest children were all baptised here in Jordanian water.

The parquet floor of satinwood, rosewood, tulipwood, mahogany, holly, and other woods is a stunning highlight of the Music Room. It is a marvel of English craftsmanship and one of the finest of its kind in the country, inlaid with the cypher of George IV.

THE PICTURE GALLERY

The Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace houses some of the Royal Collection's most important artworks. It was built in 1825 as part of the architect John Nash's remodelling of Buckingham House into a palace for George IV.

The 47-meter-long chamber was created to house the King's art collection. The Queen donates numerous works of art to exhibits around the UK and abroad, thus the paintings in the Picture Gallery change often. Italian, Dutch, and Flemish pieces from the 17th century are now on display, arranged by subject and artistic nationality. Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Claude are among the painters depicted.

Official entertainment has traditionally taken place in the Picture Gallery. It is now the site of receptions held by The Queen and members of the Royal Family to honour excellence in a specific field or community area. The recipients of honours also wait here before being escorted into the Ballroom for their investiture.

Many of the paintings from the Picture Gallery are presently on show at The Queen's Gallery in our exhibition, Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace. Visit the Palace and the Museum at the same time.

THE GRAND STAIRCASE

The Grand Staircase, designed by John Nash and influenced by his time working in London theatres, creates a feeling of anticipation for the chambers that follow.

The upper half of the staircase is decorated with full-length pictures of Queen Victoria's immediate relatives. Her grandparents, George III and Queen Charlotte, were painted by Sir William Beechey; her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, were painted by George Dawe and Sir George Hayter; and her uncle, William IV, was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

PALACE GARDEN

The 150-meter herbaceous border, a summer house, a rose garden, the massive Waterloo Vase, and the Palace tennis court, where King George VI and Fred Perry played tennis in the 1930s, are among the highlights of the 16-hectare landscape. The garden is most famous for being the site of The Queen's garden parties.

CHANGING THE GUARD

At Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard is a colourful exhibition of British pomp.

One detachment of troops takes over from another during the Changing the Guard ceremony, commonly known as 'Guard Mounting.' The detachments from St James's Palace and Buckingham Palace make up the Queen's Guard. The New Guard, who would later become The Queen's Guard, marches from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace with musical accompaniment.

Weather permitting, the ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, as well as every day during the summer. The British Army website has extensive timetables. Please keep in mind that the British Army sets the timetable, and it is subject to change. Contact the British Army via their website if you have any questions regarding the timetable.

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