The eagerly-anticipated second coin in the £100 for £100 series launched earlier this week with a design that featured probably one of the most iconic sights in Britain, Buckingham Palace. So, this week we thought we’d bring you some fascinating facts about Britain’s best-loved palace…
For millions of visitors, Buckingham Palace is one of the iconic sights in London and indeed Britain. It started life as Buckingham House in 1761 when George III bought it for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The house was later transformed into the palace we know today by George IV but the first sovereign to take up residence was Queen Victoria, who moved there in 1837. Today, as the official residence of the Royal Family, it provides a regular backdrop for Royal occasions and national celebrations alike – cementing its place as a true British icon.
Ten fascinating facts about Buckingham Palace
- Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
- It has its own chapel, post office, swimming pool, staff cafeteria, doctor’s surgery and cinema.
- Crowds often gather around Buckingham Palace for occasions of national celebration. At the end of World War II, hundreds of thousands cheered King George VI and Winston Churchill on the balcony. To mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, over one million people crowded into the area in front of the Palace and down the Mall.
- More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as The Queen’s guests at banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties
- The first monarch to use Buckingham Palace as their official residence was Queen Victoria, who moved there in 1837.
- The balcony of Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous in the world. The first recorded Royal balcony appearance took place in 1851, when Queen Victoria stepped onto it during celebrations for the opening of the Great Exhibition. It was King George VI who introduced the custom of the RAF fly-past at the end of Trooping the Colour, when the Royal Family appear on the balcony.
- During the Second World War, Buckingham Palace suffered nine direct bomb hits.
- Four Royal babies – The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William – were christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace.
- A flag always flies above Buckingham Palace. When The Queen is in residence, the Royal Standard flies. When the Sovereign is not present, the Union Flag flies instead.
- The only monarch to be born and die at Buckingham Palace was Edward VII (born 1841, died 1910). William IV was also born at Buckingham House. The Queen gave birth to Prince Charles and Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace. Notice of Royal births and deaths is attached to the railings at Buckingham Palace for members of the public to read. This custom is still followed – even in the age of mass media, when Royal births and deaths are also announced on the Royal web site.
facts source: www.royal.gov.uk
Only 50,000 of the new legal tender £100 coins are to be minted and, with the first £100 coin selling out in just eleven days, the Buckingham Palace £100 coin is bound to be a popular coin among collectors and tourists alike.