Buckingham Palace is located in the city of West Minster and opened in 1703. The first recorded house located at the site was called the Goring House. It was constructed and owned by Sir William Blake in 1624, which was then sold to Lord Goring in 1633. He designed the majority of the gardens still in existence today. The mulberry gardens were initially designed to house silkworms, which could be used to produce silk. The venture failed and Lord Goring eventually defaulted on his rent. The British Royal family regained control of the land in 1640. Henry Bennet, the first Earl of Arlington, lived in the Goring House when it burned down in 1674. The Arlington house was constructed in its place. In 1703, William Winde designed and constructed the basis for today’s palace.
Originally, it was a very large townhouse called the Buckingham House and was home to the Duke of Buckingham and Normanby. George III purchased the Buckingham House in 1761 for Queen Charlotte from the Duke of Buckingham’s descendant. 14 of their 15 children were born in Buckingham House. George IV hired John Nash to continue renovations on the Buckingham House. The exterior was designed in the French Neo-classical architecture. Edward Blore replaced John Nash as chief architect and completed the construction to the Buckingham House around 1834. In 1837, Queen Victoria was the first monarch to call Buckingham Palace home.
Buckingham Palace has been home to England’s Sovereign Family since 1837 and is the centerpiece of Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy. In addition to housing the Royal family and staff, Buckingham Palace also hosts Royal Ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures. Each year, over 50,000 people visit the palace as guests for banquets, lunches, dinners and receptions. Buckingham Palace is also home to the Royal Art Collection. Priceless works of art can be seen through out the palace. During World War II, a bomb destroyed the chapel and an art museum called the Queen’s Gallery was constructed in its place. It opened in 1962 and the majority of the Royal Artwork is on display there.
Buckingham Palace has over 830,000 square feet of floor space. It has 775 rooms to house the Royal family, guests, staff members and offices. There are 19 State Rooms, 52 Royal and Guests Rooms, 188 Staff Bedrooms, 92 Offices and 78 Bathrooms. Around 400 staff members work in Buckingham Palace. The garden spreads across 40 acres and hosts tennis matches, summer garden parties and music concerts. The Palace Ballroom opened in 1856 and is the largest room in Buckingham Palace. It was also the first room to have electricity when it was installed in 1883. Electricity was extended to the other rooms between 1883 and 1837.
Today, Buckingham Palace continues to stand as a monument for Britain, its people and continues to house the Royal family.
Quick Facts & Figures
Sovereign Home: 1837
Architects: William Winde, Edward Blore, John Nash & Sir Aston Webb
Total Guests: 50,000