Queens and Kings Past (03:10)
Though Buckingham Palace, situated in the heart of London, is one of the city's most recognizable buildings, its story is lesser known. A place of celebration and commemoration, the palace is filled with objects that give clues about the past rulers' lives.
Purely Theatrical (02:00)
Buckingham Palace is the principle state residence of monarchs, epitomized by the symbolic red-hued throne room. The room is not actually used aside from during coronation. Theatrically decorated, it houses thrones used for royal coronations through the ages, each by a different ruler.
Ancient Course (02:28)
Beneath the streets of London, the Tyburn River still flows beneath Buckingham Palace. It used to make the terrain marshy and damp, but Henry VIII changed such things.
Menagerie of Animals (02:35)
In 1532, Henry VIII replaced the land of Buckingham Palace with a deer farm, draining it of the swamp-like characteristic. James I later created a homespun English silk industry, using mulberry trees. He planted the trees in 1608 and introduced silk worms, but he had chosen the wrong variety of tree.
Aristocratic Mansion (02:52)
Soldier, politician, and duke, the Duke of Buckingham was called Lord All-Pride and possessed much wealth. He leased the land that the palace was built on. In the 1760s, George III bought the land for his wife as a wedding gift.
Best of Art (02:30)
Because of George III's priggish nature, he removed the more flamboyant aspects of Buckingham Palace and was thus described as "dull" by observers. He purchased a large collection of art and hung it all over the house's interior.
Venetian Artists (02:50)
Venice, Italy was famous for "women of easy virtue." In the 1760s, when George III was in Buckingham Palace, the patrons of Venice were in need of money, so art was priced lower than usual. Some of the best works were painted by well-known artist, Canaletto, and George III ended up with over 50 of his paintings.
Rotundity of Outline (02:30)
George III had 15 children, all of whom were required to participate in a grueling education program. The boys were whipped by their tutors, but George IV rebelled against his father's wishes and was extremely indulgent, as opposed to his father's stinginess. He created the Carlton House, a palace of pleasure.
An Abrupt End (03:37)
The Carlton House was so ornate that a dining table the length of the building was used to host dinner parties, incorporated into it a stream full of live goldfish. In 1820, its creator George IV was around 60 years old and the ruler of England. He decided to reinvent Buckingham Palace with the work of architect John Nash.
Spiraling Budget (02:23)
Architect John Nash redesigned Buckingham Palace with classical symmetry. The architect was also responsible for designs all over the city of London, touching churches, theaters, and terraces.
Great Theater Architect (03:10)
Because George IV constantly kept changing his mind on the plans for Buckingham Palace, it was likely the most difficult job of Nash's career. Nash was 73 years old at the time and perhaps considered the project to be his life's masterpiece.
Apex of Fashion and Aristocracy (03:28)
An expert discusses George IV's embodiment of fashion. His extravagance created outrage by others, as he continued to spend lavishly. Fiona Bruce displays a cabinet George IV had procured to display his wealth.
Beautiful Excess (04:04)
Chandeliers cut from leaded glass crystal hang from the ceilings of Buckingham Palace, created by English glassmakers Parker and Perry. Wealth and importance were proclaimed them, making the chandeliers statement pieces. George IV is notorious for having gilded everything.
Authority and Independence (03:46)
Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace in 1837. After two years, she married the German, Prince Albert. She was a crowned empress; he was a military general.
Homage to Queen Victoria (03:14)
Albert's decoration of the palace was esteemed by the public and the palace held many balls during the time of Queen Victoria's ruling. In the 1840s, Albert and Victoria began to renovate the front of Buckingham Palace.
Occupant Retired (02:51)
After Albert's death, Queen Victoria withdrew from London and Buckingham Palace for decades. The Palace symbolized Queen Victoria's destitution of her duty. Her son Edward VII decided to modernize it following her death.
Majesties Have Escaped (03:33)
The Queen Victoria Memorial commemorates the longest reigning British ruler with a statute of Victoria herself. World War II particularly devastated London, with nine direct hits on Buckingham Palace from the Germans. On May 8, 1945, England declared victory over Nazi Germany.
Credits: Buckingham Palace: The Queen's Palaces (00:33)
Credits: Buckingham Palace: The Queen's Palaces
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