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12 Rarely Seen Photos of Buckingham Palace

Updated: Jun. 28, 2021

Buckingham Palace has seen a lot over the years. These pictures capture some of its most memorable moments.

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Circa 1935

The Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace was designed by the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock and unveiled in May of 1911. However, it wasn’t fully completed until 1924. Queen Victoria reigned from 1873 until her death in 1901. Queen Elizabeth II is the great-granddaughter of King Edward VII, the son of Queen Victoria. Confused by royal lineage? This royal family tree is all you’ll ever need to see.

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The aftermath of a bombing

German air raids turned several sections of Buckingham Palace into rubble during World War II. Here, Queen Elizabeth and King George IV are seen surveying the damage after two bombings in September of 1940. The royal family escaped unharmed, but a workman was killed in the second attack.

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Judy Goldhill/REX/Shutterstock

At the palace gate

Inside this gate lies a royal labyrinth of 19 State rooms, 92 offices, 52 royal and guest bedrooms and 118 staff bedrooms. More than 50,000 people visit the palace every year.

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Dining in the ballroom

The grand ballroom inside Buckingham Palace is used for state banquets and events for dignitaries from around the world. If the Queen puts her purse on the table, however, it signals that the event will end shortly. Here, guests await to be seated at the state banquet for King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Here’s the 17 pieces of etiquette every member of the royal family follows.

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The throne room

This glimpse inside the royal’s throne room captures the majesty and grandeur of the royal family. The throne room is used for court gatherings, dances, and formal royal wedding pictures.

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In memoriam

After Princess Diana passed away, mourners from all over came to Buckingham Palace to place flowers by the gate as a tribute to the People’s Princess. It is estimated that 10-15 tons of bouquets were laid out around London in her memory. Prince Harry recently opened up about how he coped with his mother’s death for the first time. Read his stunning comments here.

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Sunset over London

Photography is part technique, part being in the right place at the right time. Take a beautiful location, add a breathtaking background, and this is the result.

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David Sandison/The Independent/REX/Shutterstock

Lighting up the sky

A magnificent fireworks display lit up the sky above Buckingham Palace on March 5, 2002 in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. The event marked 50 years since Her Majesty ascended to the throne. She and Prince Philip traveled around the world that year to thank their people for their loyalty. Did you know these little-known facts about Queen Elizabeth?

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Barry Phillips/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

Construction zone

Even the most beautiful structures need a little TLC. The palace may look unimpressive when it undergoes cleaning and restoration work, but it always emerges from the tarps more stunning than ever. Want a behind-the-scenes scoop on famous renovations?

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Snow day

You know that feeling of unbounded joy when you woke up ready to for school only to find out that your superstitious rituals for a snow day actually worked? The Queen’s Guard gets it. If it snows enough, the palace cancels the changing of the guard. Here are more fascinating facts about the Queen’s guard.

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High Level/REX/Shutterstock

Bird’s-eye view

Normally, you’d only be able to get this view from a plane flying over London. So unless you’re planning a European vacation in the near future enjoy the palace and its landscape as viewed from above.

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Cheers for the blue, white, and red

The royal family and crowds of spectators gathered for the Trooping of the Colors, the official annual celebration of the Queen’s birthday. Everyone watched as the Royal Air Force, also called the Red Arrows, showed their patriotism above Buckingham Palace. Next up, learn these 17 wild secrets about Windsor Castle.