Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. It is in the centre of London, in the City of Westminster. The palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
It was built in 1703 by John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normandy, as a town house (a residence in London). It was bought by the British royal family in 1761. It became the official London home of the family in 1837. It is owned by the State.
Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. It is one of few working palaces in the world. Leading up to it is a ceremonial road, The Mall.
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- By tradition, the British Royal Court is still officially resident at St. James's Palace which means that, while foreign ambassadors assuming their new position are received by the British sovereign at Buckingham Palace, they are accredited to the "Court of St. James's Palace". This anomaly continues for the sake of tradition as Buckingham Palace is to all intents and purposes the official residence. See History of St James's Palace (Official website of the British Monarchy).