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British Culture – 176 Years at Buckingham Palace!

Buckingham Palace – Did you know?

Today, I’m going to tell you about a famous symbol of the Britain monarchy: Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace

I took this photo of Buckingham Palace a few weeks ago. You can also see the Victoria Memorial on the left.

As everybody must know, Buckingham Palace is the residence of the royal family in London. But, did you know that in the beginning, “Buckingham” was a house of the Duke of Buckingham in 1706? The house was acquired only in 1761 by King George III as a royal private residence.

How did a “simple” private house became the official royal residence? Well, thanks to Queen Victoria and a lot of hard work to renovate the house, “Buckingham House” became “Buckingham Palace” in 1837. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to reside in Buckingham Palace.

She moved into Buckingham Palace on 13th July 1837. So tomorrow, Saturday, will be 176 years that the monarchy has been living in Buckingham Palace!

A few figures about Buckingham Palace:
–       Date of construction: 1703

–       Date of acquisition by the royal family: 1761
–       Date of first royal residence: 1837
–       Number of rooms: 775
–       Dimensions: 108m x 120m x 24m
–       Surface area: 77.000 square meters

Victoria Memorial

When you go to Buckingham Palace, there is a monument just in front of the Palace and “The Mall”. This monument, the “Victoria Memorial”, is a sculpture placed at the centre of the royal gardens. It is a memorial dedicated to Queen Victoria, built more than one century ago (in 1911).

You can see on this memorial:
–          Queen Victoria (facing The Mall)
–          The effigy of “the Victory” (statue in gold at the top)
–          3 angels who represent Justice / Truth / Charity 

The changing of the Guard

Bloomsbury International students at the Changing the Guard ceremony

Changing the Guard Ceremony

Security of the Queen and Buckingham Palace is ensured by the Queen’s Guard. Every day at 11am, the Guard needs to change to a new one. This process is called “Changing the Guard”. It’s a colorful ceremony just in front of Buckingham Palace and many spectators go to watch it every day. If you haven’t already seen it, I really recommend that you go to watch the ceremony It’s free!

Bloomsbury International often run this as a social activity (the next one is actually next Wednesday, 17th July). The students always have a really good time at this event and it’s a great way to make friends and practise your English speaking too!

Have fun with English

Changing the Guard vocabulary. Can you match the words below with the numbers on the picture?

Belt  –  Rifle  –  Bearskin  –  Uniform  –  Shoes  –  Flag  –  Trousers  –  Sabre

Queen's guard marching

Last week’s answers

Tennis vocabulary

  1. It’s match point. If Murray wins this point / game / set, he will win the match!
  2. Oh no, he just did a double fault. He missed his serve twice!
  3. Wow, that ace from Nadal was so powerful. It was impossible for Del Potro to return the ball.
  4. It was deuce and Djokovic just won the point. Now he has the advantage.
  5. Did you just see that lob? He hit the ball so high, his opponent had no chance of reaching it!

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