Buckingham Palace: Behind The Gates Of The Royal Residence

Sun Oct 22 2023

Behind The Gates of Buckingham Palace

Introducing Buckingham Palace – the official royal residence of the UK's sovereigns for centuries. Located in London, this majestic palace is renowned both for its grandeur and its iconic gates.

In our blog post, we’ll attempt to explore these features and provide insights on the history, significance and intricacies behind them. Moreover, learn about hidden facts that have been revealed by popular interior designer Ashley Hicks through a grand tour of the palace! So come with us as we delve into Buckingham Palace: Behind The Gates Of The Royal Residence!

Key Takeaways

  • Buckingham Palace is the official royal residence of UK’s sovereigns since 1837, having undergone a series of renovations by Queen Charlotte and her sons.
  • Wrought iron gates solemnly guard the palace grounds, designed by talented workers from the Bromsgrove Guild in 1905.
  • The Royal Family actively participates in past events and current projects such as receptions, rewiring and reservicing at Buckingham Palace.
  • Behind its iconic gates lies secret gardens, art galleries, statues honoring past kings and queens as well asphalt paths for visitors to explore.

History of Buckingham Palace

Queen Charlotte was the first to inhabit Buckingham Palace in 1762, and her nine sons began renovating the royal residence into present day appearance.

Queen Charlotte and her sons

Queen Charlotte and her sons play an important role in the history of Buckingham Palace. Previously, St James's Palace was the main residence for the British Royal Family before Queen Charlotte herself made the decision to move them to Buckingham Palace.

She had a real affection for it, as 14 of her children were born there. In addition to this moving event, much other construction took place under their reign in order to enhance its beauty and make it fit for a royal family’s historical presence such as expansions on what we know today as the East Wing.

Furthermore, they helped shape what is now seen as one of London's most significant tourist attractions with lasting effects that form part of its identity even today, more than two centuries after its first renovation.

Changes in architecture over the years

Buckingham Palace has a rich and varied architectural heritage that stretches back centuries. Throughout its history, the building of Buckingham House – later known as Buckingham Palace - has undergone many changes, reflecting Britain's evolving tastes in architecture.

When King George III commissioned architect John Nash to convert Buckingham House into a palace in the 1820s, he began a process of renovations that would last for almost a century.

The neoclassical style was introduced first with features such as Doric columns being set at the front entrance to create more grandeur and imposing symmetry. Later influences from Victorian era architecture reshaped some of these older features including curved bay windows, Queen Anne pavilions on Balcony Cottage at the rear gate and encircling towers around incorporate areas like Waterloo Court and Clarence Court.

Visiting Buckingham Palace

Visitors can take part in special events such as receptions and celebrations, or they can go on virtual tours to explore the grandeur of this royal residence.

Related events such as celebrations and receptions

Buckingham Palace hosts some of the most lavish events in the world all year round. From State Banquets, lunches and dinners for visiting dignitaries to Garden Parties in the summer, residents and visitors alike have much to experience whilst at this stunning royal residence.

During Queen Victoria’s reign elaborate costume balls were regularly held here with attendees dressed according to a particular theme such as ‘Hearts & Diamonds’ or ‘Dancing through Time’.

Other popular annual events include Investitures where members of public receive different pieces of honours recognising their contributions to society, and important national ceremonies such as The State Opening of Parliament each autumn, when HM The Queen addresses both Houses assembled before her.

Virtual tours

Visiting Buckingham Palace is now possible without ever stepping foot inside the gates – thanks to an innovative collaboration between the Royal Collection Trust and Google, which allows visitors to explore the magnificent State Rooms of Buckingham Palace from wherever they are! The virtual reality tour captures 360-degree views of not only Buckingham Palace, but also Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Through this digital experience, viewers have exclusive access into some parts of these historic sites that would otherwise be unavailable to them in person. Plus schools can take part in special educational virtual tours designed with academic use in mind.

So whether you're a history enthusiast or just looking for something unique on your staycation, be sure to check out this amazing virtual opportunity that will transport you right through those iconic wrought iron gates.

The Royal Family at Buckingham Palace

The Royal Family actively engages in past events and current projects such as receptions, rewiring and reservicing at Buckingham Palace.

Past events and engagements

Buckingham Palace has been a major hub for British Royal gatherings and events since Queen Victoria took up residence there in 1837. Over the centuries, millions of guests have attended state banquets, receptions and formal audiences with the monarchs living there.

Buckingham Palace also plays a special part in British culture; royal weddings of prestigious members of the Royal Family such as Prince Charles to Diana (1981) and later to Camilla Parker-Bowles (2005), take place at the palace grounds.

It is also where investitures are made every year, blessing others with their honours for accomplishments such as OBE's or knighthoods. Notably, other momentous occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays of the Head of State are celebrated here.

Current projects, such as the rewiring and reservicing

Buckingham Palace is undergoing a significant renovation project to ensure the Royal Family can continue to use it as their residence. This includes rewiring and reservicing undertaken by skilled craftsmen across the building.

With this, an upgrade of all electrical services and plumbing has been necessary in order to keep Buckingham Palace up-to-date with modern requirements. Additionally, other areas such as The Picture Gallery within the palace have also endured refurbishment works involving restoring its 19th century decoration - no small feat given its expansive size.

Sir William Chambers was responsible for remodeling and modernizing Buckingham Palace in the 18th century costing £73,000 at that time which equates to millions today! Such renovations need appropriate funding from private sources who are equally passionate about preserving Britain’s historical gems like Buckingham Palace and ensuring it stands tall for many centuries more to come.

Behind the Gates

Secured by gilded railings and iconic wrought iron gates, Buckingham Palace is a spectacle of grandeur for both visitors and members of the Royal Family alike.

The wrought iron gates

The wrought iron gates that encircle Buckingham Palace are iconic symbols of the Britain’s commanding presence both at home and abroad. The impressive metalwork was designed by the Bromsgrove Guild, which produced some of the most intricate casting in Europe during its heyday.

Constructed in 1905 along with additional small gates gifted to Queen Charlotte and her sons from Australia and South Africa, these majestic entranceways have stood firm against time itself for over a century.

Strong and durable wrought iron construction forms elegant railings on three sides¬—composed of delicate curlicues mingled together into an exquisite pattern–as well as four hinged archways up top to allow access when necessary.

The role of the Royal Family

The Royal Family has a strong association with Buckingham Palace and its gates. They play a significant role in upholding the traditions, legacy and grandeur of the monarchy through ceremonial engagements including receptions, events and national celebrations held at the palace grounds.

Apart from maintaining appearances, they also serve as custodians who are responsible for preserving the history connected to Buckingham Palace by participating in restorative works such as rewiring and refurbishment projects of lesser-known features such as old fountains throughout their reigns.

As such, there is no doubt that The Royal Family's contributions to ensure the prestigous atmosphere created by these iconic edifices remains until this day.

Lesser-known features of the palace grounds

At Buckingham Palace, the grounds are much more than an ornate setting for royal residence. There are many lesser-known features that add to its grandeur and history. The Duke of Buckingham initiated a major renovation in the early 1700s which produced an elegant design with clipped lawns, terraces, walls, fountains pools and gravel walks.

It was within this project that wrought iron gates were commissioned from William Winde's workshop at Billingsgate Market in 1911. While the central gates feature smaller gates within them leading into the palace grounds – these can also be used as pedestrian entrances – the terminating bays have manicured gardens and quaint pedestrian gates made from grey metalwork surrounded by greenery.

At one time, ladies entering here had to present their visiting cards! Another notable feature is Queen Charlotte's Walk on west side- it was designed for her sons to enjoy long uninterrupted strolls accompanied by grooms or nurses if desired despite facing busy streets outside palace’s boundaries.

Even today it offers relaxed atmosphere unlike any other surrounding community offering visitors peace away from hustle bustle of London life even during peak season while exploring an oasis of space filled with trees , ponds, open levels laced with stone paths.


Buckingham Palace is an iconic part of British history and the official residence of the UK's sovereigns since 1837. It serves as both a private home for the Royal Family and as the administrative headquarters of the monarch.

The palace is recognizable by its wrought iron gates, which symbolize security and privacy while providing a historical backdrop to visitors. Beyond its gates lie lesser-known features such as secret gardens, art galleries, statues honoring past kings and queens, and stunning balconies views – all placed within spacious grounds befitting this grand royal residence.

So when one imagines Buckingham Palace as more than just another building in London - but rather a gateway into centuries of history - it becomes easy to understand why so many come from near and far to visit.

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