Buckingham Palace is both the administrative headquarters and London residence of Her Majesty the Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces in the world and has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837.
Although in use for many official events held by the Queen, the 19 State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors during the summer. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the great treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. This year visitors can also discover an unprecedented display of a number of the Queen’s personal jewels.
The Palace’s State Rooms mainly reflect the taste of George IV, who commissioned the architect John Nash to transform what had previously been known as Buckingham House into a grand palace with fabulous furniture, sparkling chandeliers, candelabra and works of art.
Many of the State Rooms still have particular uses today. It is in the Throne Room, for example, that The Queen, on very special occasions like Jubilees, receives loyal addresses. On 29 April 2011 this room was the setting for the formal photographs following the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In the Music Room, guests are presented to The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and visiting Heads of State. The White Drawing Room, perhaps the grandest of all the State Rooms, serves as a royal reception room for the Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before official occasions.