Petit Futé's opinion on BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Buckingham Palace is the emblematic residence of the famous Elizabeth II. Its interior reveals more than 600 pieces.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarchy. Its history goes back to the Middle Ages, when the site was only part of a mansion, the Ebury Manor. Although it hosted many royal occupants, the land did not become royal property until the 18th century, thanks to George III. The palace was enlarged in 1825 under George IV, who called on the services of John Nash. Buckingham became the official residence of the British monarchy when Queen Victoria acceded to the throne in 1837, leaving St James Palace at the same time. The palate is redesigned. In particular, its public facade was created, whose famous balcony in its centre welcomed the kiss of the newlyweds Kate and William in 2011. Inside, there are about 660 rooms, including 78 toilets! The palace gardens are the largest private gardens in London, originally designed by Capability Brown and redone by William Townsend. A statue of Queen Victoria stands in front of the palace entrance and looks towards The Mall, the large tree-lined avenue that runs along St James Park and connects Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. Every year, the queen organizes a garden party, where all the British gratins gather in large tents to enjoy tea and sandwiches.
The visit follows a route organized and timed by the audioguide provided. After discovering the inner courtyard, the visit begins with the large staircase designed by John Nash, then under our feet march the guards' room, various lounges and ceremony rooms, all richly furnished. The painting gallery, which George IV wanted to house his collection of works of art, includes not only a Canaletto (the first painting you will see when you enter), but also works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Frans Hals and a Vermeer. Do not leave the room without looking back one last time to admire the perspective of this gallery lit by daylight thanks to the ingenious presence of a glass roof. Among the most important paintings are several paintings depicting members of the royal family, painted by the German painter based in England, Winterhalter, including a huge family painting showing Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert and five of her children.The ceremonial rooms follow one another, you will see the dining room and its incredible vermeil service, the blue lounge decorated in the Georgian style, the more intimate music room which has seen many composers come to play here for the royal family. You will end with the marble gallery, this time housing the royal collection of sculptures, including several works by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. If the weather permits, you can admire the garden up to the exit, opposite the main entrance, on the other side of the garden.
To see every day the changing of the guard. This ceremony is a must for anyone visiting London. The relief is carried out by the infantrymen in charge of royal protection, who are dressed in the traditional red tunic and wearing the famous high fur helmets. The relief is done to music and to the rhythm of the boots pounding the ground. We strongly advise you to arrive early. This show takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11am. And every day during the summer.
Information on BUCKINGHAM PALACE
July-September 10am-6pm. Garden tour: £9 (child) to £16.50. State rooms and gardens: £33 (child) to £60.
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