The history of the iconic Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British monarch since 1837, including our very own Charles III and Elizabeth II.

It is quite simply one of the most iconic buildings in the world. From state visits to the daily Changing of the Guard, to the annual garden parties and national celebrations; everyone recognises this picturesque building.

But, did you know that Buckingham Palace was initially called Buckingham House?

Read on to explore the history of this great palace, which features on a brand-new UK £5 coin

Buckingham House – 1761

In 1761, George III purchased Buckingham House for his wife, Queen Charlotte. Close to St James’ Palace, it proved the perfect home for the Queen who gave birth to 14 out of her 15 children there.

But, with the accession of George IV in 1820, he decided that he wanted to reconstruct the house eventually agreeing with his architect to turn it into a palace.

At the time, George IV told parliament that the reconstruction would cost near to £450,000 – that’s about £55 million today!

The house was doubled in size, adding new suites and state rooms, and the facing was curated from Bath stone, echoing a French neo-classical influence.

In fact, the rooms that were designed over 200 years ago stand the same in the current day.

Queen Victoria – 1837

It wasn’t until 1837, when Queen Victoria ascended the throne, that Buckingham Palace became the official residence of a British monarch.

She was the first monarch to leave from the palace for her coronation, but her marriage to Prince Albert presented some issues. Namely that the palace didn’t have enough nurseries. It therefore went through another construction phase – redesigning some of the inside alongside updating the frontage after soot had ruined it throughout the industrial revolution.

Present Day – 2024

Nowadays, Buckingham Palace is the administrative headquarters of the monarch, as well as the Sovereign’s residence. The palace has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 bedrooms and 78 bathrooms.

Every year more than 50,000 people visit as guests for state banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and garden parties.

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Credit: Royal Collection Trust

Brand-New UK £5 Coin

To honour the incredible history and sentiment of this incredible British landmark, a brand-new UK £5 coin has been issued.

But stocks are extremely limited, especially of the rare Silver Piedfort edition of which only 800 are available worldwide.

Click here to view the range and secure your memento today >>

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Celebrating 150 Years of True Furry Friendship: The Kennel Club and its Extraordinary Legacy

This April, we celebrated Crufts, alongside the 150th Anniversary of The Kennel Club. An organisation dedicated to protecting dog breed standards, helping to keep our nation of pups fit and healthy, as well contributing to all dogs finding a loving home.

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The Duchess of Gloucester greeted guests at the Royal Garden Party
Credit: @RoyalFamily via Twitter

The Kennel Club: Making a Paws-itive Difference

Since being founded in 1873, The Kennel Club have devoted themselves to ‘making a positive difference for dogs and their owners’.

They have been working hard to ensure all dog breeds are cherished and well looked after. By promoting the responsible ownership and breeding of all pups, founding The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, running the Good Citizen Dog Training scheme, as well as committing themselves to educating first-time owners and bringing doggy-welfare to schools, through The Kennel Club Educational Trust.

A Paw-some Anniversary Party at Buckingham Palace

To mark their 150th anniversary, The Kennel Club has been given a Royal Prefix – making it, The Royal Kennel Club. And what better way to celebrate the granting of a Royal Prefix than our furry friends visiting Buckingham Palace?

Hosted by The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (pictured above). The event took place on May 24th following the Club’s 150th anniversary. The event celebrated the evolution of the club. From the beginning in which the club brought order to dog shows, to today, where the club strives to promote canine welfare.

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Yeoman of the Guards were in attendance at the event

Crufts: Celebrating Man’s Best Friend

Following their establishment in 1873, the first The Kennel Club show was held under their own name, with an entry of 975 dogs. The Kennel Club held its first ever Crufts show in 1948. Since, we have seen the show grow into the much-loved event. One which has allowed a nation of canine companions to come together to inspire and celebrate their furry friends. Today we see over 24,000 four-legged friends at Crufts, over 3000 of which travel from overseas!

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The Duchess of Gloucester greeted guests at the Royal Garden Party
Credit: The Royal Kennel Club

The Official Crufts Commemorative: Celebrate the 150th Anniversary for FREE (+p&p):

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Royal Kennel Club, we are thrilled to offer you a piece of history. We have worked closely with The Royal Kennel Club to create this one-of-a-kind commemorative for you!

What’s more, you can secure yours for FREE when you trial the Official Crufts Commemorative Collection – just pay the £1.99 postage to claim your introductory offer. Click here to find out how you get can get your commemorative (and more) for FREE!

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FREE (+p&p) Crufts Commemorative Available Now

The day a Hawker Hurricane SAVED Buckingham Palace

On 15th September 1940 (later known as Battle of Britain Day), the Luftwaffe launched its largest and most concentrated attack against London in the hope of drawing the RAF to annihilation.

One German Dornier lagged behind and then started heading straight for Buckingham Palace. Sergeant Pilot Ray Holmes attempted to shoot it down before running out of ammunition. Without hesitation, he knew what he had to do; he had to hit it. At speeds in excess of 400mph, they collided.

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The Dornier falling on Victoria Station after being rammed by Sergeant Pilot Ray Holmes

The Dornier crashed to earth, prevented from destroying the Palace. The Hurricane TM-B was also critically damaged and entered a vertical dive. Seeing there was no way to save the aircraft, an injured Holmes ejected to safety while the Hurricane plummeted to the ground, crashing where Buckingham Palace Road meets Pimlico Road and Ebury Bridge. Amazingly, these were the only two aircraft to crash on the City of London throughout the entire war.

The recovery of the remains…

Chris Bennett, a veteran of several aircraft excavations, decided to take on the project of excavating this famous aircraft; which was no easy task considering the Hurricane was buried underneath one of London’s busiest roads. After 13 years of planning and setbacks, he finally got the go-ahead to begin excavation, as well as TV production company Mentorn securing a spot on Channel 5 for a live broadcast!

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The Merlin engine from the Hurricane was discovered in 2012 under Buckingham Palace Road

The recovered Merlin engine, along with other parts, were exhibited at the ‘Westminster at War’ exhibition in Leicester Square and then at the Imperial War Museum. The aluminium engine casing however, was melted down and cast into sculptures, the first two of which were presented to Ray Holme’s family and Her Majesty the Queen.

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Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip were presented with a sculpture of the Hurricane cast from the aluminium engine casing

The BRAND NEW Hawker Hurricane Provenance Medal

And now, a small number of collectors have the chance to own a BRAND NEW Commemorative featuring an ACTUAL piece of the plane that Ray Holmes was flying on the 15th September 1940 when he saved Buckingham Palace!

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The Hawker Hurricane P2725 TM-B Commemorative

This incredible commemorative features an original piece of Hawker Hurricane, meticulously hand-sculpted into the shape of the iconic plane and precision set into the deluxe SUPERSIZE 70mm Medal.

Even without the genuine piece of Hawker Hurricane, this medal is a work of engineering art in its own right. Combined with the original piece of the Hawker Hurricane, you’d have to look for many years to find something better.

Just 250 lucky collectors have the chance to own this special new commemorative. Last year’s Provenance medal featuring a piece of Spitfire SOLD OUT in a matter of days. Click here to secure your Hurricane Commemorative while you still can!

Hurricane Medal BOX - The day a Hawker Hurricane SAVED Buckingham Palace