What is the significance of Buckingham Palace?
The Queen of England is a formidable force, and she reigns from Buckingham Palace. Well, at least theoretically. Though there’s a working Parliament and democracy in the UK, the monarchy and church still play important roles in the government. The seat of monarchy has been the royal Buckingham Palace but this year, Queen Elizabeth II has announced that she won’t be coming back to the palace and would reign from Windsor Castle for ‘the foreseeable future’.
Why is her absence important?
The Queen usually returns to Buckingham Palace in London by October after her summer break in Scotland. But this year she would be moving back to Windsor Castle in the English county of Berkshire, where she had been isolating along with her husband, Prince Phillip and a small group of staff. This is likely to be the longest that she will be away in her 68-year old reign. Mostly the monarch never leaves the palace for a longer period, it’s only during grievance times for vacations that she spends time and performs ceremonial duties from Windsor Castle.
The Royal Palace
Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom.
Built as ‘Buckingham House’ in 1703, Buckingham palace was originally constructed as a large townhouse for Duke Buckingham. In 1791, King George III bought the property as a gift for Queen Charlotte, thus earning it the name The Queen’s House.
But in 1837, the palace became the London Residence of one of Britain’s most famous and longest reigning monarchs, Queen Victoria.
Buckingham Palace features 775 rooms. Of these rooms, 188 are staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, and 19 state rooms.
In total, the Buckingham palace grounds span over 39 acres. Interestingly, despite the palace serving as an important place for the royal family, the Queen does not in fact privately own the residence. It is instead held in trust by the Crown Estates.
The palace has everything it needs to be its own self-sufficient village, including a post office, movie theater, police station and clinic.
A clockmaker works full-time at the palace, maintaining over 350 clocks and watches. To ensure that time runs smoothly at the palace and residents don’t miss any engagements, two horological conservators wind up the royals’ clocks every week.
The seat of the Crown
Esteemed architect John Nash transformed Buckingham House into the magnificent palace that it is today. However, he went way over budget when reconstructing the building and was promptly fired from the job.
When the Queen’s royal standard flag flies elegantly above the palace, the Queen is currently in residence at the palace. When the Union Jack billows elegantly in the wind, this signals that the Queen is elsewhere.
And though the popular Netflix series ‘Crown’ has many scenes at Buckingham Palace, not a single shot was actually allowed inside the building.