Buckingham Palace is one of the enormous, impressive and beautiful buildings in the world. It is located in the heart of London, in Westminster. The Palace is an official residence of British monarchs (now – the Queen Elizabeth II). The building and extensive gardens are an important site of ceremonial and political affairs in the United Kingdom, as well as a major tourist attraction. Designed and built by William Winde and John Fitch, the structure that became known as “Buckingham House” was completed around 1705.
There are 775 rooms including the 19 State Rooms and 78 bathrooms. These rooms are rich in marble columns, sumptuous carpets, damask wallpaper, fine furniture, sculptures and works of art. Today, the Queen welcomes many foreign leaders to the palace for celebratory events as well as important diplomatic meetings.
Hundreds of prominent historic figures have visited Buckingham Palace since it became the royal residence. They have included a seven-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Strauss the Younger, Charles Dickens, American Presidents including Woodrow Wilson and JF Kennedy, Neil Armstrong and many others.On the tour in the palace, tourists can see famous paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin and others. The paintings in the State Rooms also include some wonderful portraits of past and present royals: Queen Victoria, George III and Queen Charlotte and, of course, the current Royal Family. Buckingham Palace’s majestic Throne Room is a favourite with visitors. It contains the thrones that are used for ceremonial receptions such as at The Queen’s Jubilees and others. The Palace houses a spectacular collection of Porcelain – one of the world’s finest in fact.
Every day at 11:30 from April to August there is a ceremony of Changing the Guard. This is perhaps the most famous ceremony in London. It attracts many tourists. In summer, the palace is visited by about 50,000 guests from all over the world.