The history of Buckingham Palace, London

Today, the Buckingham palace is popularly known as the prime residence of the British Monarchy, but this was not always the case. The new addition to the royal family’s collection of homes, serve as a crucial setting for handling political matters and hosting various ceremonies. In this article, the history of the Buckingham palace will be explored to determine its origin as a home for the royal family.

Transforming into a Palace

Though the palace is relatively new, the land on which it is built has been owned by the British Royal family for 4 centuries. King James 1 acquired the land as a garden for the royal family, although he also intended to use part of it for silk production. Notably, the property had a house which was passed on to different successors among then John Sheffield who acquired it in 1698. Sheffield later became the Duke of Buckingham hence the name of the property.

After acquiring the property, he decided to build a new residence in 1703. The Buckingham house remained in his care until King George III bought it as a family house for his wife in 1761. Before this, the royal family had only resided at the St. James’ Palace. However, after acquiring the property, the royal family moved in, and the house acquired the name, “Queen’s House”.

Though the house underwent numerous renovations, it was during the era of King George IV, that the building became a palace. John Nash turned the structure into a large U shaped building with an additional west wing and branches in both north and south. However, it was not until Queen Victoria ascended on the throne in 1837, that the Buckingham Palace became a home for the royal family. Today the Buckingham Palace is still home to the reigning monarchy led by Queen Elizabeth II.


Though the Buckingham property has been in the ownership of the British monarchy for centuries, it was not until 1837 that the Palace became a home for the royal family. Today, the palace is a tourist site and an important location for engaging in political matters as well as holding ceremonies.

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