Buckingham Palace: All what you need to know before visiting it!

More than 50, 000 people visit Buckingham Palace every year. The Palace is not only the center of the UK royalty, it is also an amazing edifice with cultural implications and historical relevance.

An attack on the palace, for example, would equate to an issue of threat against national security.

Little wonder why people rack the internet all the time for information about the magnificent castle-like Buckingham palace.

This article will attend to the top 20 most asked questions about Buckingham palace.

So, let’s dive right in!

1. Where is the Buckingham Palace?

Buckingham Palace is located at London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom.

There are many routes that you can pass through when visiting Buckingham Palace. The most common routes are interlinked with underground stations and bus routes. 

The closest underground station is Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, and Victoria Stations. You could also board Bus numbers 11, 221, C1, and C10 which will take you straight to the heart of the palace.

The palace is adjoined by St. James Park on the east and Green Park on the north within a stone’s throw.

2. Does anyone live in Buckingham Palace?

Yes. Buckingham Palace has been the home to UK’s royal family since 1837.

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there and all the ancestry of the crown spent significant periods of their formative years in the palace.

Today, it serves as the administrative headquarters for the Royal family and the Queen’s official home. Since the death of her husband Prince Phillip in 2021, the Queen lives in the palace.

There is conflicting news as to how many staffs actually live in the castle as aids, but we know of a fact that there are 188 staff rooms in the palace. 

The palace is also the London residence of Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward and his family.

3. Does the royal family own Buckingham Palace?

No. In 1761, the Buckingham palace was purchased by King Gorge III and it passed on to George IV upon his demise. However, their Wills was never settled. 

The Buckingham Palace is now occupied by the royal family in trust for the crown. It has been passed down for centuries as the royal abode but it is not owned by the Queen.  

There are many palaces in the world, and even in the United Kingdom, people have always wondered what made Buckingham palace so popular. There are more than a handful of these, some reasons include:

  1. The palace is famous because it is the home of the Queen of England and the headquarters of the administration of the monarch.
  2. All official royal banquets and events are hosted at the Buckingham palace making it a desirable location to be invited into.
  3. The palace is also favored for its beautiful and almost surreal architecture and magnificent aura.
  4. The palace’s gardens are extensive and famous and perfect for a walk.
  5. The Palace has a rich history, original art, and artifacts, and is open for tourism purposes. It is a historical castle that is like a museum and also a palace of a real-life monarch, etc.

5. Why is Buckingham Palace so called?

People often wonder why Buckingham Palace is so-called when Buckinghamshire is about 65miles away from the palace.

The palace was named after John Sheffield who was the Duke of Buckingham and also the owner of the building in 1703. At the time, it was called the Buckingham house.

The building was eventually sold to George III by John Sheffield’s illegitimate son for £21, 000. It would then begin its journey into royalty, prestige, and honor.

6. Is Buckingham Palace worth visiting?

Yes. Buckingham Palace has its neoclassical look, it is an amazing sight to behold and a great place to tour. The tour is often unrushed, guided, and open to the public. It has ancient markings and anecdotes to its location and is rich in history.

There are also nice locations to take a shot, and you get to explore the halls of the palace and see the Queen’s Own Bat-Signal.

You could see the Changing of Guards ceremony, the Royal staterooms, the Royal Mews, the artwork of the Queen’s Gallery, the household Calvary museum, the clearance house, etc.

7. How old is Buckingham Palace?

The current structure of Buckingham Palace is 319 years old. They were mostly built by the Duke of Buckingham and enlarged/ expanded between 1703 – 1709 by George III and his descendants.

There were however older structures on the site as far back as 1674 but it was then known as the Goring House (which was burnt down), and then the Arlington House in 1675.

8. How many staff are in Buckingham Palace?

According to Insider, there are 1,133 staffs who work for the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

It is unclear how many of these actually live in the palace but the Royal family’s official website states that most of the Queen’s staff work and live in the palace.

9. Who guards Buckingham Palace?

The Queen’s GuardBritish Guards, and Queen’s Life Guard are in charge of protecting the Buckingham palace.

Also, two regiments of the British Army of soldiers are assigned to guard Buckingham Palace, they include horse guards and foot soldiers.

10. Do Buckingham Palace employees sleep?

There is no need to fret over your rest as a worker in Buckingham castle.

Although the roles are no ordinary housekeeping jobs as often advertised, employees of the Buckingham castle sleep and live in the castle.

What’s more important to worry about is the low wages which are often complained about by workers and the restrictions (such as movements during odd hours or keeping a pet).

According to Forbes, employees of the palace do sleep but on-site jobs may not be as amazing as it seems in the ads.

11. Is there a swimming pool in Buckingham Palace?

Yes. Buckingham Palace has a big size swimming that is open to employees and members of the royal family.

12. Is there an elevator in Buckingham Palace?

Who wouldn’t wonder if there is an elevator in the 108 meters high Buckingham palace? Or do the royalty have sentimental value for old staircases and royal climbs? Unfortunately, as fun as that seems, it is not so.

There are about 9 elevators in Buckingham palace but those who live there say many of the elevators are old and cranky and workers often run on foot to get around their duties.

13. Can you go inside Buckingham Palace?

Yes. The Buckingham Palace is open to visitors all. This year, it is open from July 22 to October 2, 2022. 

14. Are there tunnels under Buckingham Palace?

Maybe, maybe not. There are many rumors that there are tunnels under the Buckingham palace leading to various locations in London, including a bar. But they have not been confirmed and for now, we cannot for sure.

15. Does Buckingham Palace have a basement?

Yes. It appears that Buckingham Palace has a basement. Sometime in 2019, it was rumored that an ATM had been installed in the Palace’s basement.

16. Can you take photos inside Buckingham Palace?

Unfortunately, no. If you will be sneaking a shot, you better not get caught.

It is prohibited to take photos inside Buckingham Palace, but you may be allowed to take a shot outside the palace, for example, while watching the change of guards or from across the palace.

17. Can you walk around Buckingham Palace?

Yes, you can walk around the Buckingham palace but restricted areas will be barred as guards will be stationed there. 

18. How long is the Buckingham Palace tour?

It will take about 3hours to complete the Buckingham Palace tour through the staterooms and the significant sights.

The palace is often open between July to October yearly between the hours of 9:30 am – 16:15 pm (between September to October) and 17:15 pm (between July to August).

19. How much does Buckingham Palace cost? 

Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to tour Buckingham Palace.

  • Adults: £30 to tour the staterooms. £55 if combined with the royal day out
  • Young persons 18-24: £19.50. £36 if combined with the royal day out.
  • Children or disabled persons: £16.50. £30 if combined with a royal day out.
  • Children under age 5 can tour for free. 

If you are coming in a group of 15 persons or more, all the adults get to pay only £27; the young persons will pay £17.50, and children or disabled persons will pay £14.80. Children under age 5 can tour for free. 

20. Can you visit Buckingham Palace for free?

Yes, if you are under the age of 5. No, if you are an adult. You will be required to pay the entrance fee as highlighted above.

That was fun! See you in the next article as we explore other remarkable sites.

Further reading