Fascinating Buckingham Palace Facts - London Pass Blog

Fascinating Buckingham Palace Facts

August 18, 2017 10:00 am

Buckingham Palace facts you probably didn’t know about

Buckingham Palace is a must for anybody visiting London, whether you’re a massive fan of the royal family or want to see one of Britain’s biggest cultural landmarks. With a long colourful history to unpack, here’s some Buckingham Palace facts you may not know about.

Buckingham Palace Facts

Queen Victoria was the first English royal to live at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace was commissioned by King George IV way back when, though it wasn’t until Queen Victoria moved in a few years later in 1837 that the palace became the official royal residence. Since then, many monarchs have come and gone and it remains Queen Elizabeth’s home to this day.

The State Rooms are only open to the public in the summer

Since Buckingham Palace is very much still a functioning royal residence, throwing its doors open to the public isn’t always practical. That’s why they only open up during August and September, when Queen Elizabeth heads off to Scotland for the summer. (So you won’t catch a glimpse of her unfortunately.)

Buckingham Palace facts

The palace is full of master works of art, some of which you’ll definitely recognise

The Royal Collection of artworks spans sculptures, paintings, tapestries and more – what you’ll see in the palace is just a small collection of the gigantic treasury. That said, you’ll still be likely to come across an occasional Rembrandt or Rubens displayed for everyone to see. One of the highlights is the massive painting of Queen Victoria’s coronation, which has to be seen to be believed.

The palace went way over budget

The original Buckingham House was transformed by the esteemed architect John Nash into what it is today, however he accidentally went over budget. (Take a look at the gilded detailing and you’ll probably have an idea as to why.) He was eventually fired from the project.

Buckingham Palace Facts

There are over 700 rooms in the palace

Buckingham Palace has hosted thousands of visitors and with 775 rooms, they certainly have the room for it. With 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 19 state rooms and 78 bathrooms, it’s safe to say that there’s more than enough room for the Royal Family – even if Will and Kate have a couple more children.

A massive fan of the royal family managed to break in three times

A child called Edward Jones was particularly fascinated by the royal family and managed to sneak into the residence three times – or at least, he was only caught three times. He managed to steal Queen Victoria’s underwear, food from the kitchens and told the press he had actually managed to sit on the throne – he was eventually exiled to Brazil.

Buckingham Palace Facts

Hundreds of people currently live in the palace

It’s not just Queen Elizabeth, sitting on her own in the ballroom. Prince Phillip, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, his wife and daughter all also reside there. There’s all the small matter of the royal household – there’s a casual 800+ staff who also call the palace home.

There’s a few unexpected things in the palace

Besides the throne room and the sprawling grounds, there’s a lot going on in the palace. There’s a cinema, pool, post office, police station, clinic and even an ATM – Buckingham Palace is basically its own (opulent) little village.

Buckingham Palace Facts

Throughout WW2, the royals refused to leave the palace

London was bombed heavily throughout World War Two and Buckingham Palace being the cultural landmark it was, it became a massive target. Despite being advised to leave for their own safety, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth kept calm and carried on, refusing to move home even though it was struck by nine bombs over the course of the war.

There’s a secret way to tell if the Queen is in

If you’re popping by for a spot of tea with the royal family, there’s a secret code to tell if Queen Elizabeth is in.  If the Union Flag is flying over the palace, then you’re out of luck – she’s not at home. However if a royal standard flag is, then she is. Give her our regards.

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