Buckingham Palace

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So, here we are in London with our whole trip in front of us.  We decided to start with Buckingham Palace and seeing the changing of the guards.  But, because I love history, let me share a few facts with you first.

*  The building which is the core of the palace was once called Buckingham House and was a large townhouse built for The Duke of Buckingham in 1705.

*  In 1761, George III bought Buckingham House for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St. James’s Palace  where many court functions were held. Buckingham House became known as the Queen’s House, and 14 of George III’s 15 children were born there.

*  In 1762, George III began to remodel the “Queens House”.

*  In 1820, George III son, George IV, decided to reconstruct the house… again.

*  By 1826, George IV decided he wanted to turn it into a palace.  Sadly, George IV never got to move into the palace, but his daughter Victoria did in 1837 upon her succession to the throne.

Now, onto the changing of the guards.  Here’s the low-down…

At 11am, the on-duty guards at Buckingham Palace are ready to finish their shift.  A half-mile away at St. James’s Palace, a second set of guards is also ready for a break.  At a third location, Wellington Barracks, a fresh replacement of guards gather for a review and inspection.  At 11:15, the tired St. James’s guards head out to Buckingham Palace.  At 11:30, the replacement troops, led by the band, also head for the Palace.

Click on the link to see a video of the Palace.

Palace video

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Click the links below to see a few videos of the band.

Band video 1

Band video 2

Meanwhile, a fourth group – the Horse Guard – passes by on their way back to Hyde Park from their own changing of the guard ceremony on Whitehall.

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At 11:45, the tired and fresh guards converge on Buckingham Palace and change guards, pass a flag and the band plays a happy little concert and they march out.

Click below to see a snippet of the changing of the guard video.

Changing of the guard video

Here’s a few pictures of the Victoria Memorial that sits in front of Buckingham Palace and is the place from which we watched the changing of the guards.

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Coming up next…. Big Ben.

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