The Queen’s £370million home she never wanted to live in – full tour

Chloe Best

It may be one of the most iconic buildings in the world, with the largest private garden in London and a whopping 829,000 square feet of living space, but Buckingham Palace never was the Queen‘s royal residence of choice.

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While Her Majesty has used the historic palace as her official residence for most of her reign, it has previously been revealed that she never intended to move in, and hoped to continue living at Clarence House upon her accession to the throne.

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WATCH: Inside the £369million refurbishment of Buckingham Palace

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the monarch has lived primarily at Windsor Castle and while she returned to the famous balcony for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, It has been reported that the Queen will never return to live there permanently.

Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a major refurbishment

Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and modernization at an estimated cost of £369m. It has 775 rooms including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest rooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms and 188 domestic staff bedrooms.

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Equipped with a chapel, a post office, an indoor swimming pool, a company canteen, a doctor’s surgery and a cinema, it offers everything you can imagine. Take a look inside…

The main corridor

The royal family’s Twitter account shared a before and after photo of the main corridor leading to the balcony after all items were removed prior to the renovation. The Post said the move included over 3,000 pieces of art.

The swimming pool

Before being converted into a swimming pool, the building at the rear of the palace served as a conservatory designed by architect John Nash. King George VI commissioned the pool in 1938 to ensure the privacy of his daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, who were taking classes at the Bath Club. More recently, the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have taken her young children there when she was helping them learn to swim.

Pictures of the outside show concrete bases, a vaulted ceiling, and large stained glass windows, but the interior remains for the eyes of the royal family and special guests only.

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The picture gallery

Designed by architect John Nash as part of George IV’s remodeling of Buckingham Palace in the 1820s, the 47-metre long picture gallery was intended to house the King’s art collection, but he did not live to see its completion. Pieces from this gallery have been moved to the Queen’s Gallery and will be on display from 4th December to 21st December 2020.

The Yellow Salon

The royal family’s official Instagram account previously shared a photo of the yellow drawing room. The post featured a short video of the wallpaper, an antique first purchased by King George, being removed in the drawing room for conservation purposes.

The private audience room

If you are lucky enough to be invited to a private audience with the Queen, it will be in this stunning room at Buckingham Palace. With pale blue walls and dark wood floors, it feels more modern than some of the other rooms, and Her Majesty’s family photos can often be seen in the background as she greets guests.

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The Regency Room

This beautiful room has been featured in many of the Queen’s official photos and Christmas broadcasts. The Regency room is decorated in shades of green and gold with tassel sofas, a writing desk and a traditional fireplace.

The balcony

One of the most iconic parts of Buckingham Palace is the balcony, which is at the front of the residence and is used by royals for special events such as Trooping the Color and royal weddings.

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The Gardens

The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests each year to her summer garden parties, which take place in the extensive gardens behind Buckingham Palace. The gardens cover 39 hectares and contain more than 350 species of wildflowers, around 200 trees and a three hectare lake.

The grand staircase

One of the first things visitors see upon entering the palace is the grand staircase that leads to the state rooms on the upper floor. Red carpet lines the staircase, while historical portraits of members of the royal family line the walls for a dramatic first impression.

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The ballroom of the castle

The backdrop for state banquets, this stunning ballroom features high ceilings, bold red carpets and huge artworks adorning the walls. The ballroom is also used for investiture ceremonies performed by the Queen and other senior royals including the Duke of Cambridge.

The room of 1844

One of 19 state rooms in the palace, the 1844 Room is often used by Her Majesty when receiving audiences with world leaders and other distinguished guests. The great room has lavish marble columns and gold mirrors hanging on the walls, with traditional patterned rugs and blue and gold chairs.

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The Music Room

Although known as The Music Room and home to a piano, The Music Room at Buckingham Palace has actually been the site of a number of historic royal events, including the christenings of Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince William.

The throne room

Perhaps one of the most iconic rooms in Buckingham Palace, the Throne Room has been used for everything from balls and investitures to the official wedding photos taken after Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding.

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The White Salon

This intimate State Room is regularly used by the Queen for small gatherings and audiences. You may also recognize the room from some of Her Majesty’s Christmas broadcasts and formal family photos. The queen enters the room through a hidden door disguised as a mirror and closet before receiving guests, the royal family’s website confirms.

The State Dining Hall

Used during Prince William and Kate’s wedding reception in 2011, this historic room features decorative red wallpaper and rugs, and numerous windows overlooking the beautiful palace gardens below.

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