Buckingham Palace is arguably one of the most famous royal residences in the world. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the sovereigns of the United Kingdom since 1837 and today remains the administrative headquarters of the Monarch and a hugely popular tourist attraction for those visiting London.
Whilst an administrative headquarters, the palace does remain a family home. The Queen gave birth to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew at the Palace, and to this day notice of royal births and deaths are still attached to the front railings for members of the public to read. The christenings of The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William took place in the Music Room and many Royal Weddings have been celebrated at Buckingham Palace, most recently The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (more on that, below!).
As one of the most iconic royal residences, we couldn’t help but be intrigued at the thought of what lies inside those stately walls. While the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every summer, wouldn’t it be interesting to peer inside and get a closer look? HomeAdvisor was kind enough to do some of that digging for us, and has allowed us to share it with you.
When you enter the palace, one of the first things you see is the grand staircase (above). A luxurious red carpet installation lines the stairs, and portraits of the royal family are mounted on the walls. Up the stairs is the Music Room, which has hosted several royal christenings, including that of Prince William. Across the hallway is the Green Drawing Room, where the queen has her weekly meetings with the Prime Minister.
Inside ‘Central Block’, you‘ll also find the State Dining Room, where the mahogany table is polished so often that it doesn’t need a tablecloth. This is where Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding reception was held in 2011.
A little further down the corridor is the White Drawing Room. This rather intimate state room is regularly used for audiences and small gatherings.
Downstairs is one room that maybe the most important of them all – the 1844 Room. This is where the royal family often receive their most distinguished visitors, from presidents to celebrities.
Next door is the Regency Room, which has been featured in many of the Queen’s official photographs and Christmas broadcasts.
Next up is the Monarch’s private quarters within the Palace. The Queen regularly uses only six of Buckingham Palace’s 775 rooms, and they‘re all in her private apartments. The bedroom, private sitting room, dressing room, and bathroom are all off-limits to everyone but the queen and those close to her. When she’s not on duty, the queen is notoriously protective of her privacy, so photographs of this section of the palace are sparse.
The one exception to the secrecy is the Audience Room (above), where the Queen gives a weekly audience to the Prime Minister. This room is also used for a private audience with the Chancellor of the Exchequer before a new budget is announced and to welcome visiting heads of state who are not attending on an official state visit. With pale blue walls and dark wood flooring installation, this room has a more modern feel to it than other areas of the palace.
And finally, there is the remainder of the Palace, to which a £369 million makeover was planned for 2020. Video footage released on the royal family’s Instagram account shows that work was underway in the East Front section of the palace. The video shows the early 19th-century Chinese wallpaper in the Yellow Drawing Room being removed by hand, piece by piece to prevent it from being damaged by neighboring construction work. This is the room where the queen recorded her Christmas broadcast in 2004.
Down the corridor is the formerly named Chinese Dining Room, now called the Centre Room. It’s furnished in the Chinese regency style, or Chinoiserie, a 17th- and 18th-century Western style of interior design that represents fanciful European interpretations of Chinese styles. Many of the furnishings in this room were taken from a former royal residence in Brighton – the Royal Pavilion.
We hope that you enjoyed touring Buckingham Palace as much as we did – and thanks to HomeAdvisor for allowing us to share these great behind the scenes tidbits and images!