Almost everyone visiting Britain takes a photo with the ceremonial guards at Buckingham Palace or poses in front of the palace gates. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of Britain and the official residence and principal workplace of the British monarchs. Used for state occasions and royal functions it is also a rallying point for the British public during crises and celebrations. With the advent of television, the palace has been put squarely in the limelight. The telecasting of several royal weddings that showed brides arriving and departing from the palace and enjoying their first public kiss from its balcony as well as the famous public appearances of the royal family on the same balcony during various national celebrations has firmly imprinted the palace’s image on the public conscience. There is always a scattering of people outside the main palace gates hopeful of catching a glimpse of a member of the royal family.
The history of the palace dates back to the early 18th century when it was a townhouse of the Duke of Buckingham. It was acquired by the royal family later that century and was enlarged and made into a royal residence on the accession of Queen Victoria in the mid 19th century. It underwent several changes before it became the building that is seen today with 775 rooms among which are state rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices and other ancillary areas. The palace hosts several royal ceremonies each year including investitures and state dinners for visiting heads of state. It is furnished in a grand style suited to its position with priceless works of art. Several thousand people take guided tours through the staterooms and the 39 acre palace gardens in the summer each year to get a glimpse of gilded ceilings, glittering chandeliers, grand staircases, paintings, tapestries, statuary and porcelain among other treasures and beautifully laid out herbaceous borders, wisteria covered summer houses, the rose garden, lakes and even the palace tennis court. Unlike the palace which only has a small window of opportunity, the royal mews on the grounds of Buckingham Palace are open most of the year and here visitors get to see the royal stables and garage and the Queens’ gallery which has a themed rotating collection of art works from the royal collections.
With six hotels in London at some of the best locations in the city and 13 others around the country, Millennium & Copthorne hotels UK are able to offer comfort and convenience to travelers in many prime locations around the country. Located close to business, shopping and entertainment areas these 4 star UK hotels offer facilities and amenities that are a boon to discerning business and leisure travelers.