An unusual history
Popularly known as ‘Buck House,’ this extraordinary building was built in 1702 as the Duke of Buckingham’s city residence - scandalously, the site was constructed over the site of an infamous brothel.
After some political shenanigans and a little regal manipulation, the building has been the official royal home from the time of Queen Victoria in the early 1800s.
Here’s another peculiar fact: the lovely Queen Elizabeth doesn’t actually own the palace – the state does. Fortunately for good Queen Liz, most British people have a soft spot for the monarchy and so it remains her home.
Watch for the flag
When visiting the palace, it’s worth standing before The Forecourt, which is the site of the Changing of the Guard
– a popular tourist attraction in the summer. During the sometimes-sunny summer season, when the Queen is up in Scotland, it’s possible to visit some of the palace’s 660 rooms.
The flagpole will let you know whether the Queen is ‘at home’ or not. If you can see the flag, then you’ll know she’s inside doing whatever Queens do best – sipping tea, eating scones, and talking to other important dignitaries. If the flag isn’t flying, then Her Royal Highness and her entourage are off on important matters of state elsewhere.