Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British royal family, and the current home of Queen Elizabeth II. It is also the site of many state ceremonies such as the reception of foreign dignitaries and heads of state, and is partly open to visitors at other times. The palace was built in the early XVIIIth century originally designed as a hotel, but later becoming the private residence of George III.
During the reign of Queen Victoria in the XVIII century, the palace, with its beautiful gardens, became the official royal residence. Each passing monarch has concerned themselves with decorating the palace to their taste, and the palace contains some impressive interiors.
During World War II, the palace was on several occasions the target of the Luftwaffe's bombing campaign, and has seen several refurbishments.
Inside the palace we find the Music Rooms, where several royal babies have been christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and several galleries displaying important works of art by artists including Rembrandt and Rubens.
Parts of the palace are open to visitors at certain times, as are the beautifully maintained gardens where the Queen hosts her famous garden parties each summer.
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