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Find Out Why Buckingham Palace Is One Of London's Favorite Tourist Attractions

Aug 18, 2007
Buckingham Palace, where believe it or not, Britain's royal family still resides, receives over 50,000 visitors yearly. It is also a favorite London destination for invited dignitaries and diplomats.

It was constructed by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and the original size was not as large as it is today. In 1762 ownership changed hands when it became the private home of King George III. Over the following 75 years, it became a luxurious estate, consisting of a centered courtyard with three wings.

Another complete wing was added in 1837 when Queen Victoria constructed an elegant ballroom, a nursery for the children and sleeping quarters for guests. The marble arch that at one time graced the landscape was removed and brought to London's Hyde Park. The final notable renovation took place in 1913, when the palace limestone had to be re-faced.

Besides being the home of the Royal family, the palace houses over 400 people who help with the day to day
activities. Besides being the focal point of the monarchy, the palace still allows tours by the public.

At certain times of the year, the palace allows tourists the opportunity to get a firsthand look inside at the furnishings and personal accessories like formal gowns and even jewels. In the months of August and September, visitors are allowed to see the West Wing, where the state rooms are located.

You can view items owned by Britain by visiting the Queens Gallery, which remains open all year. There you will delight in paintings by the artists Canaletto, Rubens and Vermeer. The items on display are changed often so you will see different famous painters work also. If you would like to see the Golden State Coach, the official coach for state functions, and the 30 horses that are at home in the stables, you can visit the Royal Mews.

There are interesting things to see outside of the palace too. The Changing of the Guard is a tradition that started in 1660 and has continued to this day. While a military march is played by the guard band, the 4 sentries are replaced with 4 new ones. If you see that there are only 2 guards present, then you'll know that the Queen is away. It is definitely an event you should witness. There is also a 40 acre garden that has beautiful flowers and a terrific view of the lake.

The changing of the guards ceremony is also officially named the Guard Mounting Ceremony. It occurs at 11:30 every day during the summer with a different schedule for the winter. Inclement weather can cause the 45 minute long event to be cancelled.

You can travel to the palace using the tube by exiting at the Green Park stop which is just north of the palace or depart at the Victoria Station which is south of the palace.
About the Author
Visit http://www.LondonTravelHoliday.com for more on London travel including great places to visit such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace .
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