Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.Although Buckingham Palace is furnished and decorated with priceless works of art that form part of the Royal Collection, one of the major art collections in the world today. It is not an art gallery and nor is it a museum. Its State Rooms are the main part of the working Palace and are used regularly by The Queen and members of the Royal Family for official and State entertaining. More than 50,000 people visit the Palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the Royal Garden Parties. The Throne Room, sometimes used during Queen Victoria's reign for Court gatherings and as a second dancing room, has a lovely arch which makes the room seem sophisticated. It is in the Throne Room that The Queen, on very special occasions like Jubilees, receives loyal addresses. Another use of the Throne Room has been for formal wedding photographs. George IV's original palace lacked a large room in which to entertain. Queen Victoria rectified that shortcoming by adding in 1853-5 what was, at the time of its construction, the largest room in London. At 36.6m long, 18m wide and 13.5m high, the Ballroom is the largest multi-purpose room in Buckingham Palace. It was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War.It is along the East Gallery that The Queen and her State guests process to the Ballroom for the State Banquet normally held on the first day of the visit.Around 150 guests are invited and include members of the Royal Family, the government and other political...
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