Royal Residencies

I’ve just finished watching the third series of The Crown on Netflix and that got me interested in several things ‘royal’. I was surprised how little I knew about the Royal Family despite having grown up in the UK.

I knew that Buckingham Palace is the official royal residence. Kings, Queens and other royals have been living there since 1837. The Palace has 775 rooms (that’s a lot to clean!) and a 40-acre garden.
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there, but the rooms weren’t big enough for her to entertain guests and have parties, so she added a very large room in 1855 which, at that time, was the biggest room in London.

Balmoral Castle is the Scottish home of the Royals and they go there in the summer for a break. It was bought for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, although a new, bigger castle was built in 1856.

Sandringham is the country retreat of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. It’s been the private home of British Monarchs since 1862. The Royals like to spend Christmas here and the first Christmas TV broadcast was made by the Queen at Sandringham in 1957.

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. William the Conqueror built this castle in 1070 and it’s where the Queen likes to go at weekends. The castle is situated quite close to London and was built to help defend London from attacks from the West. British Kings and Queens have been using the castle for nearly 1000 years.

Kensington Palace was originally built in 1689, but was later improved and extended by Sir Christopher Wren, the man who designed St. Paul’s Cathedral. Today, the Palace is where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, and their son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte officially live.

St. James’s Palace was built on the grounds of a leper hospital in 1536. These days, St. James’s Palace houses the offices of Princes William and Harry and was most recently the setting for the christening of Prince George of Cambridge.
There are, of course, many other palaces, residences and property owned by the British Royal family, but this list might help to clarify some of the names heard in the excellent TV series, The Crown. If you haven’t seen it yet, why not start watching tonight? Watch it in English, if you can, with (or without) English subtitles.

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