DiCamillo Companion
England

Buckingham Palace (Buckingham House) (The Queen's House) (Queen's Palace) (Goring House) (Arlington House)

  • Earlier Houses: Goring House, the London home of George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, burned down in 1674 and was replaced by its owner, Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, as Arlington House. It is this house that was the core of the house built by the 1st Duke of Buckingham. Arlington House forms the southern wing of today's palace.

    Built / Designed For: The core of today's palace, the 1660s Buckingham House, was built for John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby.

    House & Family History: There have been many suggestions that Aston Webb's 1912-13 refronting of Buckingham Palace was based on Giacomo Leoni's 1720s South Range at Lyme Park in Cheshire. The Palace today contains 1,514 doors, 760 windows, and 775 rooms, which includes 19 state rooms, 240 bedrooms (52 royal and guest bedrooms and 188 staff bedrooms), 78 bathrooms, and 92 offices. Queen Elizabeth II hosts more than 38,000 guests per year at Palace garden parties and hands out 15,000 awards in ceremonies at BP. Between 2017 and 2027 £369 million will be spent on a major refurbishment of the Palace. The project was initiated by the need to correct a major fire risk: the replacement of 3,000 miles of vulcanized rubber cabling that runs throughout the Palace. Among other updates that will be performed over the 10-year project will be the replacement of boilers.

    Collections: The Royal Mews contains the finest collection of state coaches and carriages in the world, including the famous Gold State Coach, today used only for coronations. Designed by Sir William Chambers in 1762, the Gold State Coach, which weighs four tons, is 24 feet long, 12 feet high, and requires eight horses to pull it, has been used for the coronation of every British monarch since George IV in 1821. Charles I formed the core of the Royal Collection's collection of ancient engraved gems in the 17th century; George III transformed the collection into one of the first rank with his purchase in 1762 of the entire collection of Joseph Smith (circa 1674-1770), the British counsul in Venice. An English walnut and pine side table of circa 1775 from Woodhall Park, Hertfordshire, is today in the collection of Buckingham Palace. The table is carved and gilded and has a dove gray marble top inlaid with a checkerboard pattern of 160 squares of specimen marbles. The table may have been designed by Thomas Leverton, who designed Woodhall Park. Much of the furniture and art that was once in Carlton House (George IV's London home when he was Prince Regent), is today in the collection of Buckingham Palace.

    Comments: Buckingham Palace is the most looked-at building in London. The Royal Mews is considered the greatest working stables in the world.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Palace grounds contain 45 acres of private gardens and woods. The new Queen's Gallery opened in May 2002 as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations. The Gallery replaced an earlier Queen's Gallery, a former chapel bombed during World War II that was converted in 1962 by Prince Philip into a venue for changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection. John Simpson won a limited competition, held in 1997, to provide a design for a new Queen's Gallery. Simpson's new gallery provides 3.5 times more space than the old gallery and features an entrance portico of Portland stone similar to the Erechtheum on the Acropolis in Athens. The columns of the entrance portico are based on a rare form of Greek Doric as seen on the 6th century BC temple at Paestum, near Naples, one of the earliest Doric temples. The open roof, with its oak beams and painted decoration, is based on original Greek temples. The Entrance Hall is meant to invoke the interior of a temple of the arts. Two life-size figures of winged Genii by contemporary sculptor Alexander Stoddart guard the doorway on high. The Victoria Memorial in front of the Palace was designed by Aston Webb, 1901-13. The gilded statue of victory, surrounded by allegorical groups, sits above a statue of Queen Victoria. The monument stands on a marble based circled by sold granite paving. George V knighted Webb on the spot upon the unveiling of the Victoria Memorial.

  • Architect: Thomas Cubitt

    Designed: Enclosed the old East Facade of the central quadrangle designed by Edward Blore

    View all houses

    Architect: William Oldham Chambers

    Date: 1760s
    Designed: Alterations

    View all houses

    Architect: John Simpson

    Date: 2002
    Designed: The Queen's Gallery

    View all houses

    Architect: James Pennethorne

    Date: 1854
    Designed: Removed Armory and Octagon Library of George III

    View all houses

    Architect: Thomas Brock

    Date: 1911
    Designed: Victoria Memorial in front of Palace for George V

    View all houses

    Architect: Aston Webb

    Date: 1913
    Designed: Completely rebuilt East Facade in Portland stone for George V

    View all houses

    Architect: Robert Adam

    Date: Circa 1762
    Designed: Ceiling and chimneypiece for Queen Charlotte

    View all houses

    Architect: William Winde (Wynne)

    Date: 1702-06
    Designed: Buckingham House for John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

    View all houses

    Architect: James Wyatt

    Date: Circa 1800
    Designed: Grand Staircase (demolished 1825) for George III

    View all houses

    Architect: John Nash

    Date: 1825-31
    Designed: Rebuilt Palace, added Royal Mews for George IV (1825-30). Conservatory (1831), converted to a chapel in 1843.

    View all houses

    Architect: Edward Blore

    Date: 1832-47
    Designed: Finished rebuilding started by Nash (1832-37). The East Façade was built to Blore's designs in 1847.

    View all houses
  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 732, 1120
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buckingham Palace and its Treasures
    Author: Harris, John; DeBellaigue, Geoffrey; Millar, Oliver (Contributors)
    Year Published: 1968
    Reference: pg. 118
    Publisher: New York: The Viking Press
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century
    Author: Sloan, Kim; Burnett, Andrew (Editors)
    Year Published: 2003
    Reference: pg. 133
    Publisher: Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books
    ISBN: 158834164X
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: John Simpson: The Queen's Gallery Buckingham Palace and Other Works
    Author: John, Richard; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 2002
    Publisher: London: Andreas Papadakis Publisher
    ISBN: 1901092380
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "The Volunteer" (1943). "The Prisoner" (1967–68 - TV series, as exterior of the Prisoner's flat in the opening sequence). "Magnum, PI" (1980-88 - TV series). "To Play the King" (1993 - TV mini series, as the exterior of itself). "Die Another Day" (2002). "The Queen" (2006 - as the exterior of itself). "Hysteria" (2011 - as itself in the very last seen when Queen Victoria receives a vibrator). "The BFG" (2016). "Victoria" (2016 - TV series, CGI exteriors).
  • Seat of: Queen Elizabeth II; royal family here since 1761, when the House was acquired by George III.

    Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir William Blake, circa 1624-33. George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, 1633-40. Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington, 1640-74. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, 1703-21. Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, 1761-1818; King George IV, 1820-30; Hanover family here 1761 until 1837. Queen Victoria, 1837-1901; Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family here 1837 until 1917, when George V changed the family name to Windsor.

    Current Ownership Type: The Crown / Royal Family

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Other

    Ownership Details: Crown property. Open to the public in Aug and Sep when the Royal Family is away. The Queen uses BP as both home and office.

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Phone: 02077-992-331

    Fax: 02079-309-625

    Email: buckinghampalace@royalcollection.org.uk

    Website: http://www.royal.gov.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No