Where Does the Queen Live?

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the British Monarch since 1837.
Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the British Monarch since 1837.

Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the monarch and the official London residence of the British Monarch since 1837. The building is located in the city of Westminster, London. Buckingham Palace is always at the center of royal hospitality and the focal point of the United Kingdom at times of mourning and rejoicing. It is also used as the Queen's official residence and it is used for official events she hosts. The staterooms at the palace are open to visitors during the summer. Buckingham Palace measures 354 feet in length, 394 feet width and it has a height of 79 feet. There are 775 rooms in the palace which include 52 royal rooms, 19 staterooms, 188 staff rooms, 78 bathrooms, and 92 offices.

History of Buckingham Palace

King George III bought Buckingham Palace (Buckingham house) in 1761 as a comfortable family home for his wife Queen Charlotte because of its proximity to St James Palace where court functions were held. The house was thereafter renamed Queen's House. In 1820, George IV assumed office and decided to remodel the home into a pied-à-terre and use it for the same purpose as King George III. Before the house was complete, the king changed his mind and decided to transform it into a palace with the help of his architect. Although parliament agreed to fund £150,000, the king sought £450,000. After parliament approval, the transformation of the building to a palace kicked off. By 1829, the palace was not yet complete, but the cost had escalated to about half a million pounds. In 1830, George IV died, and his brother William IV took over the role of completing the building. In 1834, a fire destroyed the house of parliament and the king offered the palace as the new parliament building, but the offer was rejected. In 1837, Queen Victoria became the first monarch to take up the residence in an official capacity, and since then the monarch has occupied Buckingham Palace.

Other Residences of the British Monarch

Aside from Buckingham Palace, the Queen spends part of the year in her other residences around the UK. Windsor Castle is the Queen's weekend home while she spends the Christmas holidays at Sandringham House. Other residences of the Queen include Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.

Windsor Castle, Windsor

Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world. It is located 20 miles west of London on the banks of River Thames. The castle dates back to days before William the Conqueror. The Union Jack flag is hoisted whenever the Queen is away from the castle which is replaced by the Royal standard flag when she is within. The Queen occasionally visits Windsor castle during the weekends, the Royal Ascot, Easter, and Christmas.

Sandringham House, Norfolk

Sandringham House has been the private home for the monarch since 1862. The Queen spends winters and Christmas in the home. Part of the house and ground of Sandringham House is open to the public during the summer. Each July, the royal residence hosts a large garden show.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. Elise has been a home for Scottish kings and queens and the center of Scotland's history. The Queen invites 8,000 people from across Scotland to the annual Holyrood Day in the palace.


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