Buckingham Palace

In St. James Park, this is the official residence of the British Monarchy.  It is also used for ceremonial state occasions such as banquets for visiting heads of state.  About 300 people work at the palace, including the officers of the Royal Household and the domestic staff.  The palace was built originally as a red brick country house for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.  In 1762 it was purchased as a private residence by George III who needed room for his 15 children.  The palace was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard.
  Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.  The Palace was bombed twice in World War II, and today, stands 360 feet long in a 40-acre garden and contains 600 rooms.

The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. They are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection--paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain; and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.

The current occupants include Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.  Prince Edward also has an apartment here, as do Princess Anne and the Duke of York.  In the second photo below the flag is flying above the Palace, revealing that the Queen is in the residence.


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