The Buckingham Palace
by Jhoanne Mariano (2009-21636)
The Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the Britain monarchs since 1837. In present time, it serves as the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.
Its name was from an eighteenth century Tory politician, John Sheffield who was later on named as the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. He built the Buckingham House as his London home. The place where the palace sits was the former mulberry garden of King James I to rear silkworms, unfortunately it was not successful.
In 1761, George III bought Buckingham House for his family, especially his queen – Queen Charlotte, because of its accessibility to St. James’ Palace and soon became the Queen’s house. Buckingham House became the Buckingham Palace in the 1820s by Architect John Nash for George IV.
In 1837, Queen Victoria was the first monarch to use the palace as the official residence of the monarch.
Four Royal babies – The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William – were all christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room.
Buckingham Palace has a total of 775 rooms which includes 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms and measures 108 meters long across the front, 120 meters deep and 24 meters high. A total of 1,514 doors and 760 windows are installed in the palace and electricity was first installed in the Ball Room of Buckingham Palace in 1883 and today there are around 40,000 light bulbs in the Palace.
The rooms are not only being used by the royalties but also serves as the house for those who support the activities of the Queen and royal family. The Palace is also the venue for great Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, all of which are organized by the Royal Household.
The Buckingham Palace is also furnished and decorated with priceless works of art from the Royal Collection; the paintings are placed on the walls of the curving marble stairs of the Grand Staircase and are still set as they were by Queen Victoria.
The gates, the railings and the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, where “Changing the Guard” takes place, was not created until 1911. The famous white Portland stone facade was built in 1913 by Architect Sir Aston Webb.
Buckingham Palace’s garden covers 40 acres including a helicopter landing area, a lake, and a tennis court. It is also a home to 30 different species of bird and more than 350 different wild flowers.
The east side of the Palace (today’s front wing) was built in the 1840s to support her growing family. The new wing forced the monument, Marble Arch, originally at the entrance to Buckingham Palace, to be moved to its present post near Speaker’s Corner in 1851.
Buckingham Palace was not just a home but also an operating theater for King Edward VII in 1902 who was suffering from peritonitis. He was operated on in a room overlooking the garden and the surgery was a success.
By the time of the Second World War, Buckingham Palace suffered nine direct bomb hits. And on environmental issues, a Combined Heat and Power unit (CHP) helps to cut energy use; LED lights reduce electricity use; and double-glazed skylights reduce energy loss and in the garden, 99% of green waste is recycled on site.
The Buckingham Palace was featured in the movie National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets where in Ben (Nicholas Cage) and Abigail (Diane Kruger) sneaked in to take a look at the Resolute Desk used as the Queen’s desk which was a puzzle and later on they left with a mysterious plank which is half of the map to the Lost City of Gold. The “Changing the Guard” could be seen in one of the scenes when they were leaving the Palace.
The Buckingham Palace was built during the 1700s and was finished during the 1800s with a Baroque architectural style. The Baroque finish could be observed with its facade, with its grand entrance as its center and balconies and stairs on both ends. You could also notice its dramatic finish within the walls of the palace and even with the gate and railings.
In the interiors, you can observe a range of baroque, rococo and 19th century finishes in different rooms. Several portraits also define baroque style; notice the grand staircase which shows dramatic sense of style portraying baroque finish. In several rooms, you can see how dramatic every details gets especially the ceiling and the wall decors and furnitures with all its curves and motifs.
Even the dimensions of the main building shows a great dramatic form of the Buckingham Palace. Formed part by part since the 17th century and still standing at present time, Buckingham Palace is still being developed in several manners such as minor decors and developments in accordance with the modern era. Buckingham Palace is a grand gesture of baroque architecture that proudly stands today and for the future generations to see.