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Learn about London
by Mandy Barrow

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About London
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Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is where the Queen lives.

image: Buckingham Palace

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.

image: Gate
One of the two traffic gates

Who lives in Buckingham Palace today?

Buckingham Palace is not only the home of the Queen and Prince Philip but also the London residence of the Duke of York (Prince Andrew) and the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife) and their daughter.

image: Pedestrian Gate

Buckingham Palace is also an office

Buckingham Palace is used also for the administrative work for the monarchy. It is here in the state apartments that Her Majesty receives and entertains guests invited to the Palace.

History of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was originally a grand house built by the Dukes of Buckingham for his wife. George IV began transforming it into a palace in 1826.

The Queen's other Homes

The Queen has other homes too including Windsor Castle and Balmoral in Scotland.

Find out about her other castles and palaces

The Royal Flag

Royal Flag

When can we see the flag on the pole?

When the Queen is at home, you can see her royal flag flying from the flag pole on top of Buckingham Palace. This flag is called the Royal Standard.

The flag is split into four quadrants. The first and fourth quadrants represent England and contain three gold lions walking (passant) on a red field; the second quadrant represents Scotland contains a red lion standing on the left hind foot (rampant) on a gold field; the third quadrant represents Ireland and contains the gold Coat of arms of Ireland on a blue field.

In flag protocol, the Royal Standard is supreme. It must only be flown from buildings where the Queen is present. It flies above the British Union Flag (Union Jack), Standards of other Royal Family members, and other British flags. It never flies at half staff.

Guard standng outside Buckingham Palace
Standing guard outside Buckingham Palace

Foot Guards

Foot GuardWho guards the palace? What do they wear?

Five regiments of Foot Guards guard the Palace. They wear red jackets and tall, furry hats called bearskins.

Click here to find out more about the guards and see pictures

When the first guards come on duty, there is a ceremony called the Changing of the Guard.

Changing of the Guard

A familiar sight at Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place in the forecourt each morning. The monarch and the royal palaces have been guarded by the Household Troops since 1660.

Read more about the Changing of the Guard ceremony


Inside Buckingham Palace

The Throne RoomWhat can you see inside Buckinham Palace?

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, chauffers, electricians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks.

Royal Parties

Every year, more than 50,000 people come to the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions, and Royal Garden Parties

Interesting facts about Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live at Buckingham Palace.

Where to next?

From Buckingham Palace you can walk through Green Park to Horse Guards Parade where you will see the soldiers on horseback.

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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