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Buckingham Palace

Explore the magnificent royal residence, home to Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace is the centrepiece of Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy, serving since 1837 as the official London residence of the British Royal Family. Originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705, the then smaller Buckingham House has been expanded over the centuries, and this magnificent structure is now among the most visited sites in the world.

Buckingham Palace is working building, with a large staff supporting The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in their official duties. This is the venue for many state banquets, foreign dignitary receptions, and Royal ceremonies.

Imagine stepping into Buckingham Palace via the Grand Hall, sumptuously decorated with gilt details and marble columns. Two broad marble staircases sweep up to the State Apartments, which include the magnificent Green Drawing Room, accessed via mirrored doors. The Throne Room, decorated in regal scarlet, still holds the two thrones used by Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during the coronation in 1953. This room leads to the East Front Balcony, where millions witnessed the kiss between the newly-wed Prince William and Catherine Middleton following their marriage ceremony in April 2011.

Of the 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace, 19 state rooms are open to the public in August and September, when Queen Elizabeth II stays in her Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle. Look out for the flag flying above the palace: if the Queen is in residence you will see the Royal Standard, the Queen’s official flag; if she is not in residence, the Union Flag will be hoisted.

Whilst the palace is neither an art gallery nor a museum, you will have the opportunity to view many works from the palace’s private art collection, including furniture crafted for Kings and Queens and masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt. It’s advisable to book your visit in advance on the official Buckingham Palace website, and there is an admission fee, which includes an audio tour.

Don’t miss the famous Changing the Guard ceremony. This takes place from 11:15 am to 12:00 pm on scheduled days, apart from during winter months, accompanied by the Guards Band. This event is the epitome of traditional pageantry.

Buckingham Palace is located in Westminster, and is easily accessible by bus. The nearest Underground station is St James’s Park.


Guide to Exploring Buckingham Palace


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Top Buckingham Palace Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$374
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

    The Rubens At The Palace NZ$384
    The Rubens At The Palace

    The Rubens At The Palace

    39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, England
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre and Apollo Victoria Theatre. Buckingham Palace and St. James Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London NZ$416
      St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

      St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

      54 Buckingham Gate, London, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Buckingham Palace, Victoria Palace Theatre, and Apollo Victoria Theatre. St. James Park and Westminster Abbey are also within 10 minutes. St. James's Park Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Victoria Underground Station is 7 minutes.

        Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World NZ$1,150
        Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World

        Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World

        68 Regent Street, London, England
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Piccadilly Circus Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Leicester Square Underground Station is 7 minutes.

          The Strand Palace Hotel NZ$270
          The Strand Palace Hotel

          The Strand Palace Hotel

          372 The Strand, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.

            Zedwell Piccadilly
            Zedwell Piccadilly

            Zedwell Piccadilly

            Great Windmill Street, London, England
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Prince of Wales Theatre, Piccadilly and Piccadilly Circus. Regent Street and Leicester Square are also within 5 minutes. Piccadilly Circus Underground Station and Leicester Square Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Amba Hotel Grosvenor
              Amba Hotel Grosvenor

              Amba Hotel Grosvenor

              101 Buckingham Palace Road, London, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Apollo Victoria Theatre and Victoria Palace Theatre. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and London Victoria Rail Station is 2 minutes.

                DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster NZ$265
                DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

                DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Westminster

                30 John Islip Street, Westminster, London, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tate Britain and Houses of Parliament. Westminster Abbey and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Pimlico Underground Station is 10 minutes by foot and Westminster Underground Station is 13 minutes.