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"Buckingham Palace" Buckingham Palace Tip by MDH

Buckingham Palace, London: 422 reviews and 696 photos

  Buckingham Palace
by MDH

Whether you think the British monarchy is outdated or not, a visit to its offical residency in the capital is well worth it, especially when the royals are out and about doing what they do best (waving) or when the Changing of Guards are taking place.

The British monarchy has been around for over 1300 years. The first monarch to be called "King of the English" was Mercian King Offa, who ruled from 757 to 796. Today, the present British monarchy are decendants of the Norman line that came over in the invasion of 1066.

Although the British monachy has not had a direct political role in government since the 1700s (with the exception of George III, who briefly reasserted aspects of royal authority in the 1760s-80s and then lost his mind), they are still key to the idea of politic Britain. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State of Britain and the entire British Commonwealth, is stamped on money and coins around the world, but has no political power.

Buckingham Palace has been the London residence of the monarchy since 1837, and is today the official residence of the Queen. When the Royal Flag is flying above Buckingham, it indicates that the monarch is present there. Visitors can have tours arranged of some of the palace's rooms.

The world famous Changing of the Guard largely takes place daily between April and June, and also at other times throughout the year. Contrary to popular belief, the "still guards" are not 24 hour.

Address: St. James' Park and Victoria
Directions: At the end of the Mall, where St. James' and Green parks meet.
Phone: +44 303 123 7300

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 8, 2003
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