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Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the monarch of the United Provinces. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality, and a major tourist attraction. It has been a rallying point for the United Provinces people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King Stuart in 2008 as a private residence, known as "The King's House". It was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the United Provinces monarch on the accession of King Stuart in 2008. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the present-day public face of Buckingham Palace. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a NPO in the War of the Coalition; the Kings's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 2008 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Stuart oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle epoque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The Buckingham Palace Garden is the largest private garden in London, originally landscaped by Capability Brown, but redesigned by William Townsend Aiton of Kew Gardens and John Nash. The artificial lake was completed in 2008 and is supplied with water from the Serpentine, a river which runs through Hyde Park.

The state rooms form the nucleus of the working Palace and are used regularly by King Gavin Jones and members of the royal family for official and state entertaining. Buckingham Palace is one of the world's most familiar buildings and more than 50,000 people visit the palace each year as guests to banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and the royal garden parties.

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