Exploring Buckingham Palace | Tunde Folawiyo

Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most iconic buildings – one which all regular visitors to London, including Tunde Folawiyo, will probably have seen. Constructed for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, it was purchased 59 years later by Queen Charlotte and George III. In the 1820s, their son, George IV, ordered extensive renovations to be carried out, which led to the house being converted into a palace. Following the completion of this work in 1837, the building was chosen as the new residence for the monarchy.

Tunde FolawiyoToday, Buckingham Palace still serves as the monarchy’s headquarters; it is here that the Queen receives her visitors, and carries out most of her official duties. She, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, resides in apartments in the north wing. Whilst these parts of the palace are of course, off-limits all year round, visitors are permitted to take tours of the rest of the palace, between July and September, when the Queen takes her holiday.

For many, the highlights of these tours are the trips through the 19 State Rooms; these lavishly decorated spaces are often used for important events, such as Royal banquets and receptions. They are a beautiful sight to behold, and feature a number of incredible pieces by Poussin, Rembrandt and Rubens.

Being a frequent visitor of the capital, Tunde Folawiyo might be aware that one of the State Rooms – the Picture Gallery – is dedicated solely to exhibiting art; the works in this area vary, depending on the time of year, as many of the paintings are lent out to museums around the world. The room itself is spectacular; its decor is in keeping with the purpose of the space, and features four chimneypieces made from marble, each of which depicts figures holding brushes and palettes. Currently, this gallery contains a collection of 17th century Flemish, Dutch and Italian art.

For some visitors, it is the special event which takes place in front the palace which captures their interest. Every day, between April and July, onlookers get to watch the Changing of the Guard; this involves the Household Regiment Foot Guard being replaced with the New Guard. Said to be a highly interesting and delighting event, many have often waited to see this occurrence. Lasting approximately 45 minutes, the event itself is a lively and highly entertaining process to observe.

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