It’s one of the most recognisable buildings in the world, and a symbol of British history, but how much do you really know about what goes on behind the gilded gates of Buckingham Palace? Here’s 9 facts about Buckingham Palace you probably never knew…
The original architect for Buckingham Palace was fired!
John Nash was originally hired in 1820 to transform the former Buckingham House (as it was then known) into a palace. However, the architect was eventually fired from his position as he spent too much money on the transformation and went way over budget!
Keeping everything ticking along
Did you know that the royal family employs a fulltime clockmaker? Why, you ask? Well Buckingham Palace contains approximately 350 clocks and watches within it’s mysterious walls! Two homological conservators, who work full-time to keep them ticking along, wind the many clocks up every week.
Three’s a crowd – but what about 800?!
That’s right! In addition to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the royal family, Buckingham Palace is also home to 800 members of full-time staff. There’s plenty of room at least!
Movie night anyone?
In addition to the Palace’s famous ballrooms and formal function rooms, it is rumored that there is also a post office, police station, doctor’s surgery, cinema and pool on the premises.
Emergency changing rooms
Months before his coronation in 1902, Edward VII contracted peritonitis, a dangerous stomach infection. A room overlooking the garden was quickly adapted for surgery, which was fortunately a success.
An explosive history
During World War II, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth publicly refused to leave the palace, which made it an appealing target. The buildings and grounds suffered nine direct hits during the raids. The Queen Mother described one bomb as causing ‘a tremendous explosion’ but cheerfully added that ‘everybody remained wonderfully calm’.
A royal secret
Rumour has it that Buckingham Palace is built on secret tunnels. The passageways run beneath the surface of the Palace and connect the building to nearby streets. It is said that the Queen Mother and King George VI couldn’t resist exploring. However, on one excursion, they apparently met a very polite man from Newcastle, who was living down there!
Buckingham Palace hosts over 90,000 people each year. This ranges from official visits from diplomats and foreign dignitaries, to the Queen’s annual garden parties.
The Palace by numbers
Finally, didi you know there are 2,500 radiators in Buckingham Palace? Plus…
- 5,000 light fittings
- 6,500 plug sockets
- 760 windows
- …and 1,514 doors!
They're doing it their way!
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