Welcome to our Buckingham Palace history section. You can skip to subsequent pages using the links below or simply continue reading to start at the beginning.


The site of this palace was once a mulberry garden that had been formed by James I in connection with an attempt to introduce the silk industry into England.

The attempt failed and the house of the keeper of the mulberry garden was replaced by a mansion that eventually came to John Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire and Normandy, who rebuilt it about 1703.

Buckingham House, as it was called, was bought by George III in 1761, and in 1775 it was settled by Parliament upon Queen Charlotte, in order that Somerset House which had been settled upon the queen in 1761, could be appropriated to Government purposes.

Buckingham House became known as the Queen's House. It was here that George III formed the splendid literary collection that is now housed at the British Museum, known as the King's Library.

Buckingham House was rebuilt on a greatly enlarged scale (with the Marble Arch for the main entrance to the courtyard) by Nash for George IV, to supersede the King's former residence of Carlton House, and in 1847 Edward Blore added the East Front for Queen Victoria. This front was remodelled and faced with stone by Sir Aston Webb in 1913, to render it a fitting background for the Victoria Memorial.

The East Front contains a range of richly appointed State apartments, which are notable for the collection of paintings and other works of art. It is in these apartments that their Majesties' Courts are held.

The grounds, comprising some fifty acres and extending west to Grosvenor Place, are the scene of the royal garden parties. No portions of the palace or grounds are open to the public, but permission to view the Royal Stables and the Riding School (in the Buckingham Palace Road) may be had on applying in writing to the Master of the Horse.

Next page: Victoria Memorial