Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British Crown since 1837, and is used for many royal receptions events and functions. Some of the apartments are now open to public viewing. The Palace state Rooms are open in August and September, and display some of the fabulous works in the royal collections. The walls are hung with Rubens, Vermeer’s and Canalettos, in a setting of some of the finest period English and French furnishings. There are also some stunning sculptures by such fabled names as Casanov and Chantry, and a marvellous display of porcelain. The original Buckingham House was bought by George III as a family home in 1761 and it has been variously remodelled and extended by subsequent monarchs to the impressive palace it is today. The huge ballroom built in 1856 was at the time the largest room in England, at some 120 feet long and 40 feet wide. Of the 50,000 or more people who visit those with an official invitation enter through the Grand hall and up the marble staircase lined with portraits of the royal ancestry. Many others attend Royal Garden Parties, or official receptions, banquets or lunches. World famous is the changing of the guard ceremony which happens daily in spring and summer in the Palace forecourt at 11.30 am, definitely one for the photographers Stay at the Regency House Hotel and visit Buckingham Palace, a short Underground ride from our hotel.