If you have ever wished to feel like a real prince or princess and wander the ins and outs of a palace, then join us on this tour as we scan some rare photos that were taken in the iconic Buckingham Palace.
The Beatles Getting Their MBEs
Here is proof that the Beatles conquered England. And not just England but also the hearts of British royalty. In 1965, Queen Elizabeth II invited the Beatles, aka the Fab Four, to receive their MBEs and of course, their fans went wild. Taken on the day of, the musicians arrived to collect their Order of the British Empire insignias, and they arrived in style. They drove inside the palace in John Lennon’s Rolls Royce.
Afterward, the band’s frontman, John Lennon, returned his MBE. Despite the controversy that followed, here we have a rare photo of their fans stampeding Buckingham Palace the day the Beatles got their Orders. Over 4,000 fans gathered outside to catch a better view, some clambering over lamp posts and gates.
King George and Pet Parrot
The royal family includes royal pets, just like Queen Elizabeth II had her corgis and thoroughbred horses. Meet Charlotte, King George V’s African Grey. We’re not exactly sure when King George acquired his pet parrot, but we know that his friendship with the parrot goes back to his youth. Here is an antique photo capturing that friendship between king and bird. Apparently, the king often had his pet with him, even during mealtimes.
Interestingly, Charlotte learned to repeat, “God Save the King!” Well, that is definitely expected of a royal bird. They also say Charlotte was probably privy to many state secrets. She often got a peek at confidential documents which she saw over the king’s shoulder! Speaking of shoulders, Charlotte reportedly had quite the chip on hers. She knew she was the most special member in the royal household, and acted it too!
Cheers to the Queen
Generally, the Royal Guard are not known for their delight. Instead, they are seen sternly patrolling the grounds of Buckingham Palace. However, here we have a fascinating memento that goes back to January 1, 1900. Judging from the time, it is likely they are giving a customary cheer to Queen Victoria, who died the following year.
Cheering? Isn’t that extremely inappropriate for someone who has died? While baffling to others, this tradition has a special place in the history of the British monarchy. The Royal Guard has a cheering ritual, performed during an inauguration or a passing. This is one of those photos showing how old the tradition truly is – going back to the turn of the century.
Prince George Sticks Out His Tongue
The Royal Family have their customary waves and Prince George, the eldest child of Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton, has started learning his wave early. This photo was taken in 2015. During the same year, Prince George was formally introduced to the public, but what makes this photograph unique is how UNofficial and INformal it is.
It shows a delightful Prince George sticking out his tongue at the people outside while being held by his nanny. Apparently, the young prince is watching the royal family depart the palace with the Horse Guard Parade. The prince has been creating viral photos on social media for a while now. He’s been photographed squishing his face against a plane window and meeting former President Barack Obama in a bathrobe while still having his bearings about him (the prince offered a firm handshake).
The Grand Staircase
For a 300-year-old castle, Buckingham Palace has an enduring history. In this photo, we see its early 20th-century look. This grand staircase seen here was the same as seen in the eyes of any of the royal family during the turn of the century. This is the fashion that Queen Victoria would have seen when she traveled to her London residence.
That is what makes this photograph so unique. It captures a moment of Buckingham Palace from its distant past. If you look closely, you will see portraits of former royals hung on the surrounding walls. The creative genius behind this bronze staircase was city planner and architect, John Nash. He designed this work of art as part of King George IV’s project to remodel Buckingham Palace in the 19th century.
Queen Victoria’s 200th Anniversary
The royal family of yesteryears sat down for meals with this collection of dishes. What we’re looking at here is a typical setting of a Victorian royal dinner. On July 17, 2009, this array of dishes in this style was arranged in the State Dining Room to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria.
The interesting designs of the dishes and the bright and bold colors give us a taste of the kinds of meals the past royals would feast on – and it is certainly a feast. Queen Victoria had a very refined and diverse palate. The dinner table always had meat (beef and mutton), potatoes, fish, and bread. Plus, she loved all kinds of sweets too, including sponges, drop cakes, pies, wafers, biscuits, and fudge.
Royal Curator of Clocks
Buckingham Palace has an incredible collection of clocks. All in all, there are roughly 500 timepieces in this London palace and about 370 clocks at Windsor Castle. With such an impressive clock collection, these royal residences need the help of a professional to see that they are well-maintained, display the right time, and are in good working condition.
Hence, the need for a royal curator of clocks – which is the name given to the man in the photo. We can only imagine that the two days of the year during Daylight Savings are the most stressful for this professional. Thankfully, he’s not alone in this massive endeavor. The royal family hires a team of people specifically for this. They spend twice a year tweaking almost 1000 clocks in the royal residences. They’re called “horological conservators” and it takes them 40 hours to fix the clocks.
Princess Elizabeth Reading
The photos the public often sees of Buckingham Palace are generally galleries of the main house. However, the palace also has a number of private residences belonging to royal workers. This photo, taken on July 19, 1946, shows a young Princess Elizabeth (not yet queen). Here we see the young princess engaged in a book in what was her own cozy private apartment. The Queen was educated at home growing up.
Many of her photographs as a teenager show her quietly reading. She grew up during times of war, and books offered her tremendous respite from all the uncertainty. She especially loved a book called “Moorland Mousie,” a collection of short stories about an Exmoor pony. From this photo, we already get an idea of Queen Elizabeth’s tastes as we see her porcelain collection in the display cabinet to her left and a porcelain rabbit on the mantlepiece.
King George and Queen Elizabeth
In April 1948, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Mother celebrated their 25th or silver wedding anniversary. These photos were taken during that occasion showing the royal couple enjoying a relaxing night in Buckingham Palace. Sadly, the peace captured in this photo would not last long. King George would die four years later at the age of 56 after serving in the war and suffering from lung cancer caused by heavy smoking.
We still have this beautiful memento capturing the royal couple’s time together and their silver wedding anniversary. England owes a great debt to their loving marriage – a devoted partnership that helped them navigate the horrors of World War II and restore public faith in the monarchy, all while raising their two young daughters.
Queen Elizabeth and Angelina Jolie
Did you know that American actress Angelina Jolie is an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George? The actress was presented with the insignia in October 2014. This is a photo capturing that special moment. While Queen Elizabeth has met plenty of celebrities and politicians, this is a beautiful photograph.
It shows a different side to the actor – a completely gracious and elegant Jolie as she is greeted by the queen. The American actress was presented with the Honorary Dame Grand Cross (DCMG) for humanitarian efforts against domestic violence and for improving UK foreign policy. Jolie has worked tirelessly to bust the myth that domestic violence is “inevitable” in conflict. She pointedly calls it a weapon of war against civilians.
The Coronated Queen Elizabeth
On June 2, 1953, Princess Elizabeth accepted the crown as Queen Elizabeth II. She was in Kenya when she received news of her father, King George VI’s passing. It had been over 200 years since a sovereign acceded while being overseas. Taken just four days after Her Majesty’s coronation, we see this dazzling photo of the newly coronated queen sitting on the throne.
The young queen is dazzling. She is dressed in the finest satin dress embroidered with flowers as a symbol of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Her dress is finished off with a beautiful ermine layer. Finally, the queen is also wearing the Imperial State Crown while holding the specter and orb. This photo captures the young but majestic queen.
For many of us, we don’t have any idea what an investiture ceremony is, it is just a long and formal word for the knighting ceremony. It also honors people who have been awarded OBEs and MBEs. The ceremony is special since everyone receives their medals from a member of the royal family. Preparations take place many weeks before, especially the collecting, counting, and thorough cleaning of all the insignia (medals).
Here, we see a much younger Prince Charles carrying out an investiture ceremony. The soon-to-be-coronated king is bedecked in a dashing uniform and while he is knighting a gentleman, the Yeomen of the Guard are in attendance in the throne room. As a prince, Charles carried out many investiture ceremonies. One more recent includes the knighting of the F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton. But the one in this photo goes back to the 1980s.
October 1918 was momentous for world history. A depleted and defeated Germany approached the United States about signing an armistice. British soldiers on the frontlines had already begun to sense a shift in the air. Could it be? Was the war truly ending? Their hope was realized on November 11, 1918, when an armistice was signed at Le Francport near Compiègne signaling the end of World War I.
This photo captures that occasion. We see nurses and soldiers in complete elation celebrating the end of the Great War. As these professionals were serving on the frontlines and had firsthand experience with the horrors of the war, it is little wonder that they were in a state of utter jubilation. What makes this photo more momentous is that it was taken just outside of Buckingham Palace in London – a rare find in the Buckingham collection.
Namatjira’s Work at Buckingham Palace
Albert Namatjira was an Australian Aboriginal artist and is recognized as one of Australia’s finest painters. More than fifty years after meeting Queen Elizabeth II in Canberra, his grandchildren, Kevin Namatjira and Lenie Namatjira – standing behind the Queen – presented Her Majesty with these two artworks. Back in 1947, the artist had actually gifted Her Majesty a painting. Considering that Queen Elizabeth awarded Albert Namatjira with a coronation medal, this photograph captures a touching moment.
Moreover, the Queen added two more beautiful paintings to her already respectable collection. Like their grandfather, Kevin and Lenie Namatjira are respected artists in Australia. On this occasion, they presented Her Majesty with one of their own paintings and a postcard made by children from their community. The two also advocated for a better future for indigenous Australia.
The Ballroom of Buckingham Palace
Considering that balls are a thing of the past, it is not hard to imagine that this ballroom was added to Buckingham Palace in 1855. That means this ballroom is more than 160 years old. During the reign of Queen Victoria, the room was completed and it served as both a ball and concert room.
The Ballroom once occupied center stage at the palace — a hub of all events. It was the largest room in the palace. Naturally, since then, it has undergone many renovations. While balls may be a thing of the past, state banquets are still a thing and, in this photo, we see royal workers preparing this old chamber for one such event.
Buckingham Palace Bomb Damage
Since Buckingham Palace is located in London, during the Second World War, it would be in the range of fire for bombs dropped on the city. All in all, Buckingham Palace would be bombed on seven occasions. In this photo taken on September 13, 1940, we see a young King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth the Mother, surveying damage to the palace after a German bombing raid.
When the war first broke out, the royal family was evacuated and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were sent to Windsor Castle. Press coverage of the royals during the war was minimal but this incident of them inspecting the damage was filmed. The coverage intended to showcase the common suffering that united the rich and the poor – a sign that the royals shared the grief and hardship of their subjects.
Palace Chapel Destroyed
The devastation during the eight-month Blitz was all-encompassing. And the royal residences were high on the radar of the Luftwaffe. Buckingham Palace became the target of a total of seven German bombing raids. Children living in bigger cities such as London and Liverpool were evacuated to the countryside, but sadly, nothing could keep the Palace out of reach from the bombers.
On this occasion, we see the destruction of the Palace Chapel. This photo was taken in November 1940. In the photo, we witness the wreckage of the altar and the royal chairs, and the sadness on the faces of the men examining the chapel’s ruins.
The Victoria Memorial
Taken on May 16, 1911, this photo goes way back in time. Just 10 years after her death, this magnificent structure was built to forever memorialize Queen Victoria, aka the Grandmother of Europe. The structure was unveiled in 1911 but work on the memorial was complete only in 1924. On this occasion, the public gathers for the enormous statue’s unveiling.
When the white cloth drops, we see the grandeur of this massive statue of Queen Victoria, unveiled to the public by none other than the great monarch’s grandson and king of England at that time, King George V. Thousands of miles away, Lord Curzon in India oversaw the construction of a sister memorial in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). The memorials remain heritage centerpieces of both Calcutta and London.
Cleaning a chandelier is no easy feat. And naturally, a château the size of Buckingham Palace is likely to have more than one chandelier. Thanks to the technician, Mark Boyd, the star of this historic photo, Buckingham Palace can safely prepare for the summer opening. Pictured here, Boyd is carrying out his cleaning duties.
The grander chandeliers can weigh almost about a ton and can have up to 100 lightbulbs. The palace’s summer opening would not be the same without brave technicians like Mark Boyd. Maintenance and upkeep of the palace can cost a pretty penny. The royal family has been known to spend close to £100,000 just on cleaning chandeliers!
King George VI and His Family
Here we have one of those rare domestic or family scenes at Buckingham Palace. Taken on June 10, 1938, we see a really special moment of all the late members of the royal family. Pictured here are King George VI, his wife, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, and Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth.
Surprisingly, even the royal family could enjoy cozy moments like the one captured here. King George is reading, Princess Elizabeth is knitting, and the fire is burning in the background. We know the royal family makes stellar public appearances. Getting to see what they might be like at home is a refreshing change.
Who isn’t a fan of “Star Wars”? Prince William and Prince Harry are obviously both fans of the mega-film franchise. In this photo, taken on April 19, 2016, the two princes go head-to-head for a supercool lightsaber battle. From this scene, we can see that Prince Harry has clearly turned to the dark side as he is sporting Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.
Unfortunately, Prince William is a bit too overwhelmed and it seems like the victory will be Sith Henry Windsor’s. Fun fact: chuffed fans recently learned that the princes made cameo appearances in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” And as stormtroopers too! The scene has since been released as a deleted scene on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The Royal Family Watch a Flypast
This photo is proof that everyone loves an airshow, including the royal family. There’s no containing the joy that planes evoke, even when you’ve been trained as a family to maintain your composure at all times. Taken right at the end of the 1980s, here we see a rare moment of the British royal family taking in a good airshow or flypast.
The late Queen Elizabeth II is next to her son and husband. To her husband’s right, the late Princess Diana, and just in front of Diana are the very young Princes William and Harry. The look on Prince William’s face is pure delight. He seems to be enjoying the flypast more than anyone else. Little wonder, he trained with the RAF.
God Save the Queen
Back in 2002, the late Queen celebrated her golden jubilee, marking Queen Elizabeth’s 50th anniversary on the throne. It was a party for the ages. Several music icons came together for a special concert at Buckingham Palace. In this photo, we see just how the occasion was celebrated. Crowds came gathering outside Buckingham Palace.
A special concert was arranged and at the end, the entire façade of the Palace lit up, displaying these words in huge letters, “God Save the Queen.” Here is an image of that special rock concert. A truly fitting celebration for one of the world’s most enduring monarchs. Prince Charles congratulated his mother on 50 years with a speech. He began by addressing her as "Your Majesty.....MUMMY!," eliciting a rare smirk from the late queen.
It’s uncommon to see the monarch’s residence in any other form but top-notch. But here we see an image of huge scaffolding in front of Buckingham Palace. In 1913, a year before war broke out in the European continent, the royal family’s London residence underwent a huge reconstruction.
The old façade had started to blacken and crumble due to the poor quality of air in London. We see a very different image of Buckingham Palace's façade here. After this major reconstruction and renovation, the palace would start to resemble the one that we all know, but it would take a lot of work. This photo is a relic of a much older past and a very different-looking Buckingham Palace.
One of the iconic images of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002 was that of the late Queen Elizabeth II making ceremonial visits throughout Great Britain. And accompanying the Queen as she navigated the streets was a golden carriage. In this photo, taken before the Golden Jubilee celebration, is the carriage restorer, David Evans, polishing a carriage wheel.
The last time the queen used the carriage was during her silver jubilee, meaning that carriage restorer, Evans, had to put in a long of work to make sure the vehicle was at its very best. The carriage is a shining part of the country’s history. It has been part of every coronation since 1831. And although the carriage dazzles bright enough to blind, it isn’t made of actual gold. All credit to Evans and people like him for the incredible upkeep through the years!
The King and Queen’s Standard
If you know your British history well and know your history of the royal family even better, then you'll know the flag being sown in this photograph is called the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom. Taken on August 7, 1936, we see a group of women putting in a hard day of work to sew this King and Queen’s standard.
The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom is made up of four quadrants: two of the quadrants contain the lions for ancient England and the other two represent the ancient kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland. One will see the Royal Standard flying when the sovereign is in residence at one of the palaces, on royal aircraft that’s aground, and in the King or Queen’s car during official journeys.
King George V’s Silver Jubilee
Compared to Queen Victoria and the late Queen Elizabeth II, King George V did not have as long a reign. In fact, few people did. However, King George still got to celebrate his silver jubilee. This photograph captures that occasion. Going back to May 6, 1935, we see a parade of carriages leaving and circling Buckingham Palace with many members of the public, tipping their hats to cheer for their king.
It was a glorious sunny day in May, made even brighter since it was a public holiday. People rang in the day with parties, fetes, and pageants too. Sadly, King George would meet his end just six months after this splendid occasion.
The Queen and Her First Corgi
It is well known that the late Queen Elizabeth II loved corgis. However, most people don’t know that it is thanks to her friendship with this cute pup, Susan, which initiated Her Majesty’s lifelong devotion to these doggos. Taken on January 29, 1959, we see a photo of Queen Elizabeth and her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Susan.
The pup had been a gift to the Queen from her father. Her registered name was Hickathrift Pippa. Although people called her Sue, it eventually became Susan, and Susan it remained. For 15 years, her majesty was devoted to Susan. And when we say devoted, we mean it. She even took the sweet pooch on her honeymoon with Prince Philip!
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne
Here we see a very young Queen Elizabeth II with two of her four children. The photo almost seems too formal, but the presence of Susan the corgi just adds the right element to this photo to make it a cute family picture. If we didn't know the people here are royal, the corgi would steal the show.
Some might say Susan still steals the show regardless – such is the appeal of dogs. When it was taken in 1954, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward had not yet been born. Interestingly, this photo was captured in Balmoral, the final resting place of the late Queen.
Since the Tokyo Olympics, drone shows have become an important feature of mega-events. One such mega event to incorporate a drone show was the platinum jubilee celebrations of 2022. And of course, because the platinum jubilee was held to commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th anniversary as queen, a moment dedicated to corgis was completely fitting.
Since her first corgi was given to her in 1959, the Queen’s lifelong companions have been her pooches. The Royal Guards do a stellar job but we know the corgis are the true guardians of the palace and the queen’s heart. The drone show also included images of Her Majesty’s handbag and a teapot with a cup and saucer.
Did you know that Buckingham Palace has its own very unique Commonwealth exhibition? Starting in 1977, Buckingham Palace included a Commonwealth exhibition. Held every year on the second Monday of March, individuals on the tour are given highlights from different parts of the Commonwealth like various cultural elements of the Caribbean.
What is unique about this photo is that the late Queen Elizabeth II is being given her very own tour by the director of the Royal Collection, Sir Hugh Roberts. Just another side of Buckingham Palace that the public doesn’t often see or know about. The exhibition is a look back at 60 years of history and celebrates the modern Commonwealth. Although the concept of the Commonwealth is today problematic, the queen always took her responsibility as its head very seriously.
The Queen’s Gallery
Buckingham Palace is not just the London residence of the royal family, but it is also a museum. It might sound a bit strange, but since the palace is more than 300 years old, it has gathered artifacts from different centuries, housed various monarchs of the British Empire and the United Kingdom, and has seen numerous periods in England. And to top it off, there is the late Queen’s gallery.
Consisting of roughly 450 pieces, the royal collection makes quite the exhibition. The Gallery is near Buckingham Palace, in a place where a private chapel for Queen Victoria once stood. When the chapel was destroyed in an air raid, Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh decided to create art from despair. And thus, the space transformed into an art gallery. As we see in the photo, getting the royal collection ready for the public does take a lot of work.
Prince William’s Christening
Born William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor, here we have one of our first photos of the Prince of Wales and future king of Great Britain. Taken in Buckingham Palace, we see the late Princess Diana cradling the young Prince William after he had his christening. We also see his proud father and soon-to-be-crowned king Charles III, looking on proudly at his baby son.
Prince William wore hand-me-downs for the christening. His gown was the same one worn by his father and many other royal babies before. He also had six godparents in attendance! This photo was taken on August 4, 1982 – just a month after the baby Prince William was born.
Buckingham Palace 1907
While plenty of eager tourists flock to London to see inside the views of Buckingham Palace, sadly no one will ever see it like it is here. Taken back all the way in 1907, we have an interior view of the Palace in one of its more antique days. Since then, it has undergone renovations and restorations.
But here in this image of this magnificent chamber, it still boasted an impressive gallery and its archetypal chandeliers. The chamber is also massive, indicating the true size of the Palace. The royal residence has since undergone many transformations. It has survived Nazi bombings, the London air, and the wear and tear over time.
Queen Victoria’s Workroom
Queens and kings need to work too. This photograph hailing from 1920 is proof that royal family members have plenty to do. They’re not just sitting around living off of taxpayer money and touring the world. When they’re on duty, only the best spaces will do. Here we have an image of Queen Victoria’s workroom.
In fact, her desk resembles many workstations that current employees have. What makes the former British Queen’s workroom different from most employees is that it also comes with its own private sitting room, where she could see visitors and display pieces of the royal collection. Now that is a stylish workstation and one that is appropriate for a Queen.
President Wilson’s Bedroom
It is well-known that Buckingham Palace hosts numerous celebrities and politicians. It is also known that the late Queen has met almost every US president, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnston (LBJ). However, this tradition started long before Queen Elizabeth II. Here we have a photo taken back on December 11, 1919.
It shows the guest suite of President Woodrow Wilson during his visit to Buckingham Palace. Not bad for a hotel suite for 1919. It comes with its own mini boudoir and a fancy chandelier. President Wilson’s visit to London was a highly anticipated event. Close to two million people thronged the streets to catch a glimpse and chants of “We Want Wilson” echoed through the streets.
The Queen and Prince Philip Meet the Kennedys
The late Queen Elizabeth II has gone out of her way to meet all of the US presidents. There is one exception, Lyndon B. Johnson. While there are all kinds of speculations as to why the two did not meet, this photo shows that the late Queen definitely met John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy. According to the TV series “The Crown,” the Queen was jealous of the First Lady.
Other reports have also indicated that the two shared a cordial but complicated relationship. But in this photo, the Queen and First Lady both dazzle. Nothing about the Queen indicates she is afflicted with the green-eyed monster. She simply looks gracious. Whether their relationship was tense or whether they were pitted against each other we might never fully know.
King George VI’s Coronation
After not even a year, King Edward VIII abdicated. In line to the throne was Edward VIII’s younger brother, George VI. However, their mother, Queen Consort, did not believe George VI was an ideal replacement. That is clearly evident in this photo. The only person in this photo who does not look happy about King George VI’s coronation is his mother.
Everyone else, his wife and two daughters both seem to be enjoying the occasion. As for the King, he looked dashing in his ermine robe and crown. The coronation also intended to showcase the might of the British Empire. Royal events and programs (many that were broadcasted on television) were planned throughout May to mark the occasion. Guests from around the world and across the Empire attended. It was a month of strategic public spectacle.
The Public Awaits King George VI
Mary of Teck, the Queen Consort to King George V, was not overjoyed after Edward VIII abdicated and George VI was destined to be the new king of England. From this photo, taken on May 12, 1937, the British public’s opinion could not have been more different. London had never seen such a crowd.
Thousands of people had been waiting all night along the six-mile procession route. Outside Cumberland Gate, we see crowds and crowds of people waiting in Hyde Park for King George VI to make his entrance as the newly crowned King of Great Britain. The king will make a customary entrance – his golden carriage will travel the streets of London so the monarch can greet his people.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward
“The Crown” aims to represent the life of the royal family since the death of King George VI. According to the show, the late Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip enjoyed a warmer and more tender relationship with their younger children, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. By the time they were born, she had found her stride as sovereign and it showed. Her overall demeanor was warmer.
She chose to spend more time with her children, consciously stepping back from duties, even if it was just for a bit. This photograph captures a tender moment between mother and children. On Christmas Day, it was customary for the Queen to broadcast a message to the Commonwealth. But despite the demands of being a queen, she still took some time to spend with her sons and look through a photo album together.
Christmas at Buckingham Palace
This photo gives us some idea about the way Christmas is celebrated in Buckingham Palace. Taken in 2006, we see Chelsea College of Art & Design student, Haleh Niazi, helping to prepare the palace for that year’s Christmas festivities.
Based on the fact that the Royals hired Niazi, an art and design student, to help with the Christmas decorations, we can say that Christmas is a big deal in Buckingham Palace. Also, the mere fact that Niazi has to use a ladder to decorate the tree, well, that must be some tree. Even though the royal family usually spends Christmas at Sandringham and not Buckingham Palace, the spirit of the season is very much alive here.
King and Queen at the Palace
Here we go back to the past – specifically to the year 1942. We see a tender moment between the late King George VI and his late wife, the Queen Mother. We often don’t see the royal family just being a family or the royal couple just being a couple, but this photo here gives us an idea of the former royal couple. The two couldn’t be more different as people but complemented each other beautifully.
The Queen played a significant role in helping her husband overcome his shyness and insecurities. Together, they became unstoppable and steered the country through some of the most challenging times. Here, we see that King George VI is tending to the fire, while his wife looks on. It also lets us know about the interior of Buckingham Palace decades ago.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation
1953 was a big year in our history. Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay summited Mount Everest, the Korean War ended, and Queen Elizabeth was coronated. The late Queen Elizabeth II would go on to become one of the longest-serving leaders and monarchs, achieving her platinum jubilee. However, it all started on June 2, 1953 – the day of her coronation.
In this photo, we see this momentous occasion just as the crown is placed on the Queen’s head. History was being made right here. Hers was the first coronation to be televised from inside Westminster Abbey. 27 million people in the country tuned in to watch and many more worldwide. For 70 years the Queen would reign over Great Britain; a feat few would ever reproduce.
The Chinese Room
One of the interesting additions to Buckingham Palace is its Chinese Room. Queen Mary shared a deep love for collecting oriental objects, particularly items made of jade. In 1911, she turned her impressive collection into the Chinese Chippendale Room as a gift for the Prince of Wales. The late Queen Elizabeth II was also a fan of porcelain, and we suspect her grandfather, King George V, was also keen on these kinds of ceramics.
This photo hails from the first decade of the 20th century. It clearly shows the typical design of Chinese porcelain and unique wallpaper. Interestingly, this room was labeled "The Small Chinese Room" and considering that it has its own mantlepiece, "small" means something different in Buckingham Palace
Who is this young boy looking dashing in the royal chambers? Why it is none other than Prince Charles or Charles III! To be perfectly honest, at this young age, this young fellow looks like the perfect fit for the next king. But behind the camera, a different story unfolded. The prince was a shy and sensitive child. His mother – the young queen – was frequently away on royal duties.
His father thought Charles was too sensitive and wanted him to be “a man’s man.” With mostly his nanny for company, the prince had a tough but lonely childhood as was true for many royal children at the time. What's more interesting about this photo is that it's featured in the Lord Snowden collection. The photographer married Princess Margaret and even after their divorce, he continued to take snapshots of the royal family, including this one of the young future king.
The Beatles During the MBE Conference
One of the interesting aspects of British culture is its love for granting award titles and honorary awards to its citizens. For many people living outside of British culture, it seems a bit odd, but it does make British culture unique. Four citizens who were presented with honors for Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) were the four members of the supergroup, the Beatles.
Taken on October 26, 1965, the Beatles held their press conference after receiving their MBEs – a special moment in history. Rock n roll had negative connotations around the time. Certain sections in Britain thought the Beatles being awarded an MBE was a mockery of what the recognition stood for. There were strongly-worded protests and a few past recipients even returned their MBEs. The ceremony and press conference went on regardless.
The Buckingham Palace Private Chapel
It is not surprising that the royal family would have their own private chapel in Buckingham Palace. After all, England has their own church, simply called the Church of England or the Anglican Church. The key figures of the Church of England would of course have to be its royal family. This private chapel goes back a long way in time. The royal architect Joh Nash had initially conceptualized the space as a conservatory.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert wanted to turn it into a chapel. Nash completed the chapel in 1844 and the queen was delighted with the results. As part of the Antique Photographs Collection, we have a snapshot of the private chapel back in 1911, before any of the existing royal family members used it. Sadly, the private chapel was destroyed during a German air raid but was later incorporated into The Queen’s Gallery.
The Queen Sews in World War Two
During the Second World War, the royal family became all hands-on and eagerly got involved in aiding their country’s war effort. The late George VI became a close companion to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and he traveled around the country visiting sites that had been bombed. His daughter, the late Queen Elizabeth II also got involved
Here we have a photo of her sitting at the head of the table sewing with the rest of the female entourage at Buckingham Palace. They set up their table and began sewing for their country in one of Queen Victoria’s old ballrooms. Sewing circles are enjoying a resurgence of sorts today as a hobby. During World War II, sewing and knitting were essential. Women across Britain produced millions of gloves, socks, pullovers, and other warm clothes for soldiers.
A Schoolroom for Princesses
For every girl or woman who has dreamed of being a princess, the photograph should give you some idea of the everyday life of a princess. Here we see a very young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in their schoolroom at Buckingham Palace, located in the royal lodge on the top floor. We see the two girls painting.
Princess Elizabeth appears as a very attentive and careful painter. Interestingly, this photo was taken on June 22, 1940 – almost a year into World War Two – and the girls both seem miles away, almost in a different world. The two sisters were evacuated from London to Windsor Castle to keep them safe during the Blitz. Over three million people left cities for small towns and the countryside during the war.
In 2022, the late Queen Elizabeth celebrated her platinum jubilee – a momentous occasion. However, before that big day, the Queen had her golden jubilee in 2002 marking Queen Elizabeth’s II 50 years on the throne. To celebrate this, various events were organized including an impressive fireworks display. The public gathered outside Buckingham Palace to join the royal family in their festivities.
This photo offers a rare moment of Golden Jubilee, with the crowds outside the Palace, with the Victoria Memorial gleaming in the evening sky. As expected, the celebrations were grand. After the traditional service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London came alive with street parties. There were dinners. Garden parties, and the much-anticipated Party at the Palace.
Beacons of Hope
Princess Elizabeth aged only 13, and Princess Margaret, aged 9, are photographed here before their first broadcast during the Second World War. The girls broadcasted messages encouraging their people despite the air raids, the bombings, and the destruction. Despite their age, their expressions are solemn as they ready themselves to encourage their nation.
The message was especially intended to bring hope and comfort to the war-weary children of Britain. This is a quote from that broadcast, “When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place. My sister is by my side, and we are both going to say goodnight to you.”
Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Love
No, we’re not talking about a secret love affair. We’re just talking about Queen Elizabeth’s love for music that many people are not aware of. Here we have a photo of a 15-year-old Princess Elizabeth playing the piano in the Royal Lodge of Buckingham Palace, as her younger sister, Princess Margaret looks on. The late Queen, who had two honorary degrees in music, was a classical music enthusiast and a regular face at classical concerts
From this photo and the serious look on young Elizabeth’s face, we realize how deeply her love for music runs. She championed classical music throughout her reign and took a personal interest in who filled the role of the Master of the Queen’s Music. The Master – usually a distinguished member of the classical music gentry – has historically composed music for significant royal ceremonies.
A Princess Duet
In late 1936, it was clear that Princess Elizabeth was destined to be the queen of England. And from a young age, the young princess was groomed to be her nation’s queen. Even though that was the case, she and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, did everything together as children and young teenagers – like playing the piano. Princess Elizabeth learned piano at age 11.
She was far more keen on the outdoors and spending time with her dogs and horses. It was her sister who naturally took to singing and playing the piano, and exceedingly well too. Here we have a snapshot taken in 1940 at Buckingham Palace, showing the two playing a piano duet together. There is one creature who is not taking the piano playing seriously, and that is the corgi lying under the piano, beside Princess Margaret’s foot.
Head of the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth has always been dear to the late Queen Elizabeth II’s heart. In fact, probably no other monarch in England will take the Commonwealth as seriously as Queen Elizabeth did at the 1955 Commonwealth Conference. Former PM John Major once described the queen’s relationship with the Commonwealth as “intensely personal.”
Even after the dismantling of the Empire, the institution carried on thanks to her – its beating heart. Here we have a rare memento taken on February 3, 1955, where the late Queen is flanked by various ministers from the Commonwealth nations like South Africa, Pakistan, India, and Australia. To the queen's left is Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, though it is hard to take your eyes off the dazzling monarch.
Time for a Bit of Cricket?
Even at the royal residence of Buckingham Palace, there is enough time for a bit of cricket. It is England’s national sport after all. Actually, this photo captures a beautiful and touching moment in Buckingham Palace’s history. On August 12, 1948, the palace hosted a Not Forgotten Association and invited the stage singer Margaret Eaves to play some cricket. The Not Forgotten Association was initially dedicated to wounded veterans from the Second World War.
It is today a registered charity for current and former servicemen and women in the United Kingdom. The charity has widened its scope to serving anyone sick or injured in the Armed Forces and hopes to tackle the big issue of loneliness among veterans. The men posing in this photo will certainly not be forgotten as they are part of Buckingham Palace’s long and enduring history.
Royal Mews, Horses, and Footman
Did you know that the late Queen Elizabeth II bred and raced her own thoroughbred horses? Did you know that some of her horses have done extremely well and that she handsomely won in horse racing? Here we have a photo originating from the 1980s of the Royal Mews (which is the royal or princely name for stables) and royal horses.
The footman could not be any more elegant. He is decked out in a black tophat and coat, even when tending to the royal stallions and fillies. The Royal Mews Today oversees all road travel arrangements for the Royal Family – from cars and horse carriages to livery.
Prince Charles in His Private Salon
Since the members of the royal family live in Buckingham Palace, they would have their own private chambers there. This photo was taken in June 1969. We see a young Prince Charles in his own boudoir earnestly sorting out some paperwork in his briefcase. This photo captures a moment when briefcases were still fashionable.
Here Prince Charles almost looks like an ordinary young worker or aspiring businessman and not the future king of England. He’s always been unassuming and it comes across beautifully in this picture. But in the background, we do have a clue that the setting is Buckingham Palace as you can see the porcelain on the mantlepiece.
Charles III and His Cello
The love for classical music seems to run in the Windsor family. During his time at Cambridge University, the young King Charles studied archaeology, anthropology, history, and a number of other subjects. He eventually completed his degrees in the Arts. That being said, the young prince never neglected his love for music. He also committed his time to play the violin and cello.
Here is a photo taken of the soon-to-be king enjoying a moment with the cello. From the serious and extremely focused expression on his face, it seems that Charles III truly loves classical music. As the reigning sovereign today, news reports have even dubbed him as “A King Who Actually Likes The Arts.”
Prince Charles Cooking
The future King of Britain joined Trinity College in October 1967 where he studied Anthropology, Archaeology, and History. He had broken royal precedent by choosing to attend university immediately after A-levels instead of enlisting in the military. During his time at Cambridge University, Prince Charles lived in the town and enjoyed quite an ordinary life – a life similar to his university peers.
Except, of course, he was destined to be the king of Great Britain. But from this photo, you would never say so. Taken in 1969, we see a young Prince Charles fending for himself as he is cutting a loaf of bread. He appears so ordinary, just like other young men and students in the late 1960s.
The royal family seems to have a tradition of enjoying flypasts or airshows, especially from their vantage point of choice - the balcony. Flypasts began as a military tradition, usually to honor senior officials or the Royal Family. Over the years, they evolved into a grand and beloved public spectacle.
Taken on June 6, 1957, we see the members of the royal family, with Queen Elizabeth II at the head, all gathered on the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace. The occasion is a ceremonial flypast or airshow in which the RAF will perform for its audience. That’s not all. As you will notice, some of the royal family members are waving as, at the same time, there is also a horse parade going on just in front of the building façade.
Princess Elizabeth Marries Philip Mountbatten
On November 20th, 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Interestingly, since Queen Elizabeth II’s father’s ill health and death were caused by heavy smoking, she insisted that Prince Philip give up smoking – and he did on their wedding day.
Since this photo was taken two years after the end of the Second World War, none of Prince Philip’s German relations were invited to the ceremony. Additionally, the Princess used clothing ration coupons to pay for her Norman Hartnell wedding dress due to strict rationing measures after the war! The couple was married just short of 74 years as Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2021.
Earning Your Medal
The UK has a long history of recognizing people for bravery, exceptional achievements, and valuable service. But how the country identifies and awards people has evolved significantly through time. The state has “orders for knighthood” and other awards for military personnel, bravery, and people doing amazing things in their respective fields.
Depending on which category you fall in, you’re awarded decorations or medals. Here we see a visibly-excited Flight Sergeant A Murray, Leading Stoker F Tyler, and ARP Officer J Brennan at Buckingham Palace in 1941. The trio received medals for their outstanding service during World War II. Medals don’t come in different ranks. Each medal is given for a specific reason, so there are clear rules to follow to earn one.
VE Day Celebrations
May 8 is Victory in Europe (VE) Day. World War II officially ended on this day in 1945. London, a city battered by death and destruction for far too long erupted in joy. People thronged the streets in song and dance and thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace.
Pictured here is then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill alongside the royal family. He joined them on the balcony to share in the country’s collective joy. But victory was bittersweet as it always is in war. People grieved for countless loved ones lost. Plus, the war in the Far East was far from over. Even as Europe celebrated, many soldiers were still in the thick of combat.
Queen Elizabeth’s Stamp Collection
While people may have wildly differing opinions about the Queen, everyone will agree that she epitomizes calmness. Never a hair out of place nor an emotion let out. Being reasonable was a large part of her appeal. Her fondness for reading and philately only added to it. The Royal Philatelic Collection is among the most prized stamp collections in the world.
It was George V who started it and Queen Elizabeth later became its sole custodian, curator, and guardian. She put the collection on exhibit. She even used it to help charities and loaned it whenever needed. Thanks to her, the collection contains some of the rarest stamps from the Commonwealth and Great Britain.
Brian May Performs on the Roof of Buckingham Palace
June 2002 was momentous, not only because it was the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, but for how the Party at the Palace went down! Celebrating 50 years of Her Majesty’s reign called for a spectacular performance, and no ordinary musician would do. Enter Brian May, guitarist for Queen, to get the party started. He performed “God Save The Queen” high above the city on the roof of Buckingham Palace, with an accompanying orchestra in the gardens below.
Millions of people watched as the history-making performance unfolded on screen. May later confessed to being terrified out of his wits during the solo. He faced his fear and said he was never the same again after the experience. The Jubilee has always been special to Brits. It marks significant milestones in a sovereign’s life. Like wedding anniversaries, the milestones are similar – Silver Jubilee for 25 years, Golden for 50 years, and so on.
The Invite for King Charles’s Coronation
King Charles was 74 during his coronation in May 2023. The average person knows very little about him apart from the details of his tragic first marriage. But take a peek at the invitation to his coronation, and one might get glimpses into Britain’s new sovereign. Designed by Andrew Jamieson, the coronation invite represents King Charles’s deep connection with the natural world.
How many of us knew that the King spent the better part of his life campaigning for the environment? The beautiful design here cleverly incorporates the “green man” – a beloved folklore figure. A statement from Buckingham Palace said the invitation was a symbol of spring, indicating new life and energy for a new reign. The King also had the invites printed on recycled cards. What an unlikely role model for millennials and Gen Z!
The Royal Guards
The Royal Guards are one of the biggest draws for tourists in London. They are as much a British cultural icon as the royal family, Big Ben, black taxis, and the red telephone booth. One understands the fascination. After all, they are responsible for the safety of the most high-profile royal family in the world.
The guards are famously steely. Smiling is expressly forbidden. They must stay on guard for three hours at a stretch, during which they aren’t permitted toilet breaks. Although they're known for being the strong, silent type the Royal Guard will occasionally break their silence if anyone gets too close for comfort to the royals. Don't try it, though.
Princess Margaret With Her Grandmother, Queen Mary
Queen Mary was the grandmother to Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret (pictured here as a child). While they seem to be sharing a wonderful moment together, the Queen was far from grandmotherly. She doted on Elizabeth who became the presumptive heir when her father became king.
Princess Margaret’s experiences with her were starkly different. The Countess of Snowdon deeply disliked her grandmother. She wrote in her biography that Queen Mary was rude to everyone except Elizabeth. The queen never shared lighthearted moments. Every present and outing together was meant to be educational. It seems she took her role of molding the future generation of royals a little too seriously.
Dora Thewlis Gets Arrested
Women throughout history have fought long and hard for the right to vote. Among them was Dora Thewlis, a mill worker who was arrested during a 1907 protest march in London. Newspaper headlines about her arrest mocked her as “Little Dora” and “Baby Suffragette.” The powers that be seemed determined to make an example of her.
Dora, the "gullible" young girl led astray by Socialist ideas. Far from the truth, however. She might have been only 16 at the time but could reportedly hold her own in any political debate, thanks to her upbringing. Dora, along with other women, had traveled to London to protest the failure of Willoughby Dickinson's Bill when they were arrested for disorderly conduct.
Frederick Gorringes Department Store
A small drapery shop called Frederick Gorringe Limited first opened its doors in the 1850s on London's Buckingham Palace Road. It was the brainchild of Frederick Gorringe, a silk mercer and draper with a vision. The little shop transformed over time into something much bigger — a full-fledged department store. By the time this photo was taken, Gorringe's had become quite the establishment. You can see a lady demonstrating the use of a vacuum cleaner here.
Gorringe’s attracted the nobility and gentry, even earning the patronage of the ladies from Queen Victoria's household. Business was thriving, and by 1869, they had expanded to occupy three shop premises which eventually made way for a grand department store. Gorringe's was particular about how its staff presented themselves — black dresses if they were women and pinstriped suits for men. Sitting down behind the counter was a big no-no, and the customer was always right.
The Queen’s Guardsmen
Queen Elizabeth II had an entourage of guards. She was, after all, a Queen. But even the most half-hearted royal observers will have noticed the sheer number of them. While most of the guards are around for ceremonial purposes, each member of the Royal Family has their respective Protection Officers.
When the sovereign is in residence at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Guard comprises three officers and 36 soldiers. Here we see a foot guard (guards on foot) performing a crucial duty – looking after the Queen’s dogs. A task that’s almost as high a priority as guarding the Queen herself we daresay.
Princess Elizabeth at a Trooping the Color Ceremony
Queen Elizabeth II had a deep passion for horses ever since she was a child of four. Her first pony was Peggy, a beautiful Shetland pony and a gift from her grandfather, George V. Caring for Peggy ignited her love for horses which became a lifelong passion. By age 18, she was already an accomplished rider.
She was especially keen on breeding thoroughbred horses for racing. But being a queen also meant ceremonial horseback riding. Starting from her days as a princess in 1947, she participated in the annual Trooping the Color ceremony on horseback, not a carriage. And she continued doing so until 1986.
King George VI Dies
The day is February 6, 1952. Pictured here is a group of people huddled together, poring over a newspaper headline. King George VI had passed away at Sandringham. A period of national mourning began. King George VI’s funeral procession became the first ever to be broadcast on television. Some say the event might have sparked the rush to purchase television sets.
The way people watched and commemorated historic events would never be the same again. History was being made in any case. Hope arrived in a young Queen Elizabeth II, who was officially proclaimed the new monarch. The rest is history. She more than proved her mettle despite naysayers. She would become one of the most respected monarchs in the country’s history and very long did she reign!
The Royal Family in 1846
In 1846, Queen Victoria wrote a letter to the French king, Louis-Philippe with a heartfelt request. She wondered if he could release Franz Xaver Winterhalter from his duties as the court painter that autumn. She wanted him to paint a large and special portrait of her family for their home at Osborne. The portrait sessions kicked off at Windsor in October 1846 until January the following year.
Queen Victoria considered it one of her top three favorite portraits. Winterhalter skillfully captured the queen in her dual roles of a sovereign and a loving mother. It beautifully depicts royal grandeur with domestic harmony, peace, and happiness. In the portrait are the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, Princess Victoria, Princess Alice, and Princess Helena as an infant.
Princess Margaret Meets Sophia Loren
Princess Margaret was different from her sister the Queen in every way. She hadn’t been groomed for official duty and spent her early years learning subjects such as music and dance. She was her father’s “joy” while Elizabeth was his “pride.” Soon, the media started paying attention to Princess Margaret's unconventional social life. She was quite the head-turner as a young woman with her 18-inch waist and striking blue eyes.
She mingled with young aristocrats, high-society folks, artists, and celebrities. The princess frequently made appearances in newspapers and magazines for her glamor and fashion-forward style. This picture captures the essence of Princess Margaret's social world. She's pictured warmly greeting Italian actor, Sophia Loren, at the premiere of "The Key" in May 1958.
The Queen’s Birds
Queen Elizabeth had a soft spot for not only dogs but all types of birds and animals. She especially loved birds (pigeons included too), and here's where a little context is necessary. Those familiar with London likely know about St. James Park or have visited it. No ordinary park, this place.
The Queen turned the park into a haven for birds, some graciously presented to her by various world leaders over the years. Pictured here is a kind-hearted officer waiting patiently as a mother duck and her ducklings pass by. The ducks seem to have wandered in from nearby St. James's Park.
Tessa Sanderson Receives an MBE
Here we see Tessa Sanderson outside Buckingham Palace, moments after she received an MBE in 1985. She’s understandably ecstatic. Sanderson had won gold in javelin at the Olympics a year before – the only British athlete ever to achieve the feat. Her happiness and success belie the tough road to getting where she did.
She fought systemic racism and discrimination within the sporting community. The public seemed to feel the same way about her too. The lack of support could’ve crippled and demotivated most athletes. But not Sanderson. She blazed her own trail – with or without support – and remains a sporting legend to this day.
Trooping the Color Ceremony 1985
This picture was taken in June 1985 during the annual Trooping of the Color ceremony. As always, the royal family has the best views from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Princess Diana is at the center of the image; a devoted mother who fusses over her children. Prince Charles is close by, giving his wife a hand with the kids.
Next to them is a wholly different vibe, however. The Queen, meanwhile, is decked out in military regalia. She's the antithesis of the domestic scene unfolding on her left. One look at her and you can tell why she was the most respected sovereign of our times. She's regal and imposing. Someone who looks like she means everything she says and follows through to the letter.
Vivienne Westwood Flashes Photographers at Buckingham Palace
Vivienne Westwood was a designer ahead of her time. She pioneered sustainable fashion long before it became a marketing buzzword. Westwood defined the punk fashion era during the 1970s. It’s no wonder the designer was conferred an OBE. More than the recognition, her famously infamous photograph after the ceremony still makes headlines today.
Westwood had received her OBE and stepped outside the palace when she decided to celebrate with a twirl for the benefit of the photographers. She ended up flashing the photographers instead of the other way around. Westwood had said that she typically never wears underwear with dresses. And it’s a scream imagining what the royal family might have had to say about this when they found out.
The Queen’s Corgis
There are pet parents, and then you have the Queen – the ultimate Dog Mom. Her love for corgis and “dorgis” (dachshund-corgi mixes) was well documented. Photographs of the Queen and her corgis have delighted royal fans and pet lovers everywhere. They offer glimpses of a softer, endearing side to the monarch.
She looked after over 30 dogs in her lifetime. The dogs trooped about inside the palace and outside it, as seen in this picture. Safe to say these were some of the luckiest, spoiled-rotten corgis and dorgis on the planet with footmen watching over them! Since the Queen’s passing, her dogs have found a new loving home with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (the Duke and Duchess of York).
Sir Cliff Richard
Pictured here is Cliff Richard, newly knighted and leaving the palace after the ceremony. In 1995, the musician officially became a Knight Bachelor. But he received the knighthood for his incredible charity work and not his music contributions. Years later, Richards would wince while recalling the ceremony since he had apparently made a fool of himself in front of the Queen.
Of the many, many instructions for participants in the ceremony, don’t speak until spoken to was the most important one. Easy enough. But nobody prepared him for what to say when the Queen did speak with him! Richards said he could not string a coherent sentence together. He believed the Queen must’ve wondered why they knighted someone who couldn’t speak a word of English.
The Gates at Buckingham Palace
When people visit Buckingham Palace, the last thing they pay attention to are the palace gates. For most people, the gates just get in the way of a great view or selfie. Look closer though, and you might begin to appreciate these ornate structures a bit more. They’re not just railings. They’re works of art.
The story goes back to 1905 when the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts was commissioned to design wrought iron gates that would surround Buckingham Palace. The guild comprised artists and craftsmen still rooted in bespoke traditional design in the face of “damaging” industrialization. The intricately designed gates still surround and protect the monarch’s home today. Here we see Alan Weald hard at work painting one of the gates which was damaged after a car rammed into it.
Princess Diana Dies
Princess Diana was different. She was beautiful and charming but also endearing in a way most royals aren't. They called her the People’s Princess, and it was a role she took very seriously. On August 31, 1997, the world froze en masse when news broke about her death in a car accident. Something irrevocably shifted in the air that day.
People left flowers, gifts, and cards outside Buckingham Palace in the thousands. And they kept coming for days after her funeral until the palace itself seemed to fade into the background. A people traditionally known for restraint wept unabashedly. In some cases, grief was punctuated by anger at the monarchy for being unkind to her.
The Queen’s Helicopter
Being a royal comes with some cool perks, like having a helicopter just for the family. Since 1998, the Royal Family has been using a Sikorsky helicopter exclusively for their royal duties — one of the first helicopters set aside just for this purpose. You can't miss the signature maroon helicopter.
The special helicopter started service on December 21, 1998. Even though the S-76 is a type of helicopter you'll find all over the world, this one is decked out and clearly conveys royalty. Using one helicopter — instead of several — has saved the family over a million pounds. Royals need to work under a budget too!
Always a Good Time at the Palace
The Prince of Wales shares a light-hearted moment with British acting royalty – Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellan. Also in the frame are the chairman of Marks & Spencer Andrew Stone and his wife. What's got them so happy though? The group is at Buckingham Palace for the launch of the Creative Forum for Culture and the Economy — one of those rare moments when everyone seems to have their guard and formality down a bit.
There’s a lightness to the picture which is refreshing. King Charles has always had a passion for the arts. He was one of the first patrons of the National Gallery and has several other patronages including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera.
Elizabeth Taylor Leaving Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace has welcomed some of the most prominent individuals in history. People from various fields like movies, music, TV, politics, and sports have passed through those iconic gates to meet the sovereign and other members of the Royal Family.
Interestingly, there have been speculations about whether Elizabeth Taylor was among these notable visitors and if she ever had the chance to meet the Queen. The answer is yes. And the clue is in her title! She’s Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor DBE. The actor received the recognition in 1999 at Buckingham Palace where she met the Queen. The two have met on previous occasions too.