Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace serves as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837.  The Palace has 775 rooms.

 

The palace was originally a smaller house.  George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held. Buckingham House became known as the Queen’s House, and 14 of George III’s 15 children were born there.

 

The palace was then designed as a larger court, and the facade was completed in 1911.  Although we know the palace from the public appearances of the royalty, including the marriages on Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, the most important event is State Banquet normally held at the ballroom.   At Investitures, The Queen (or The Prince of Wales as Her Majesty’s representative) will meet recipients of British honours and give them their awards, including knighting those who have been awarded knighthoods.

 
It is a tradition to maintain the flag of the Union Jack outside when the Queen is in the house. Before, it was impossible to have a flag half way through, even for the case of death of royals.  However, after the death of Diana the public opinion was very favourable to see a gesture of solidarity from the Queen, and she decided to break the protocol to pay respect to Diana.