Everyone loves to gossip; especially when it’s about royalty. Everyone is watching their every move to see when they falter, when they deserve praise, where they should have stepped up and so forth. A story exists behind every royal figure. The British Monarchy stir much of the drama and gossip that flocks todays headlines, however, this anecdote is not of the royalty who lived, but where they lived. This is the account of Buckingham Palace. A story of transformation, joy, war, destruction, and of victory. Buckingham Palace stands in defiance of time, and continues on as a majestic symbol of royalty.
The palace was originally built as a large town house for the John Sheffield, the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. Buckingham House (as it was known previously) was built on a plot of land that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. Sheffield had the residence built according to the plans designed by William Winde. The principal design was a single large central block made up of three floors, with two smaller wings designated for various services necessary to keep a large, upper-class household running (Harris 22). The Buckingham House was later sold to King George III in 1761 who set it aside as a private retreat for Queen Charlotte (Robinson 14).
After George IV inherited the throne in 1820 he continued his predecessor’s renovations of the Buckingham House that began in 1762. George IV preferred to keep the residence as a small, comfortable home, however, his preference changed in the midst of construction in 1826. With the help of his architect, John Nash, George IV decided to turn the residence into a neo-classical palace. Not long afterward George IV died and his younger brother, William IV took over. William hired Edward Blore to finish off the renovations that his brother had started previously (Harris 30-33).
In 1837 Buckingham Palace became the principal royal residence after Queen Victoria took the throne. Though there were a few rooms radiating color and splendor, Buckingham Palace fell short of standards when it came to comfort, cleanliness, and ventilation. In 1840 the Queen married Prince Albert, who was troubled by the state of the palace and took upon himself to transform the palace as they knew it by reorganizing the staff, and tackling the various maintenance necessities. Come 1847 the royal couple decided that the palace was too small for their growing family, thus they invited Edward Blore back to design a new wing which would later be built by Thomas Cubitt. Not long after the ballroom wing, along with several state suites, were designed by John Nash’s student Sir James Pennethorne.
Buckingham Palace was always bustling with various events and entertainment. Colorful costume balls were held frequently, and musicians came to play their best for the Queen. Upon the death of her husband, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria cowered from the spotlight, and abandoned the palace to live elsewhere. Buckingham Palace was...