Buckingham Palace stands in the centre of London and has been the official residence of the British monarch since 1837. It is also the monarch’s administrative centre.
Originally a town house owned by the Duke of Buckingham it consists of 775 rooms, many of which are lavishly furnished. In addition to the
state rooms, there are 52 royal and guest bedrooms and accommodation for 188 staff. The palace also includes 92 office rooms.
Built in several stages, it is a quadrangular shaped building standing around a courtyard. Its dimensions (including the central courtyard) are 108 metres long, 120 metres deep and 24 metres high.
The normal entrance to Buckingham Palace is through the North-centre gate whilst the central gate is used for State occasions. The house is entered through the Grand Hall which has two marble staircases leading to the state apartments. The State dining room is housed in the west wing.
In 1868, Queen Victoria introduced the annual royal garden parties that are still held to this day.
Although still in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis. The 19 state rooms at Buckingham Palace were made accessible to the public in 1993. They are currently open during August and September when Queen Elizabeth has her annual trip to Scotland.