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London is one of the few places in the world where you can visit a real royal place. Buckingham Palace is where Queen Elizabeth II lives much of her time.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25.The Queen is married to Prince Philip and has four children and eight grandchildren.
When the Queen is in the residence, you can see the Royal Standard flag above the palace. When she is away, the Union Jack flies instead.
Buckingham Palace was originally a grand house built by the Dukes of Buckingham for his wife. George IV began transforming it into a palace in 1826
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live at Buckingham Palace. She came to the throne in 1837 at the age of eighteen.
Buckingham Palace is enormous. There are 600 rooms, 78 bathrooms, a cinema, a swimming pool and even a post office. The Ballroom is the largest room. It is used for important banquets, at which 160 guests are seated at a long horseshoe-shaped table.
Some of the rooms are named and decorated for special visitors.
The 1844 Room was specially decorated for the state visit of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. Today it is used for important meetings. h
The balcony of Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous balconies in the world. The members of the Royal Family appear on the balcony on special occasions to great the people.
When the Queen is on holiday in summer, the Palace opens to the public. You can visit it and see a lot of interesting things.
The royal wedding party pose for a photographer in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
There is a beautiful park-like garden around the palace. It is home to 30 different kinds of birds and more than 350 different wild flowers.
The Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. It was created by sculptor Sir Thomas Brock in 1911.
Every summer the Queen holds her garden parties .
The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is the place where the royal coaches, horses, and cars are kept.
The most famous of the royal coaches is the Gold State Coach, which is used only on very special occasions, such as a coronation.
There are always crowds of people waiting patiently outside Buckingham Palace. They come to see the ceremony of Changing the Guard.
Being a Queen’s guard is not an easy job. You can’t scratch your nose, you can’t cough or sneeze.
This ceremony hasn’t changed since 1660, believe it or not!