Buckingham Palace

First built as Buckingham House in 1703, Buckingham Palace is the most famous of all of the regal residences in London, since it is the Queen's official home.

Incredibly, the enormous building survived nine bomb attacks during the Blitz and the Queen and her father King George VI never abandoned the Palace during this time.

The Queen is not always at home however, and you can tell when she is elsewhere because the Union Jack flies above the palace in place of her own standard.

Hampton Court Palace

One of London's oldest royal palaces, Hampton Court is a baroque red brick creation, built in 1514 and famously home to the ruthless King Henry VIII. Considering what happened to his wives, it isn't much of a surprise that the place is rumoured to be haunted!

Still, it's a great location for a fun family day out with a spring tulip festival currently in full swing, a plethora of historical exhibitions for young and old alike, and come summertime a busy schedule of festivals lined up!

Windsor Castle

Said to be the Queen's favourite place to spend the weekend, Windsor Castle is quite some second home.

Dating back to the eleventh century when it was built for William the Conqueror, the majestic fortress is both the oldest and the largest occupied castle in the world.

To date, it has housed as many as 39 monarchs, many of whom spent extravagant amounts of money expanding and re-modelling the castle to their own tastes and the fashions of the era.

Well worth a visit, the castle re-opens to the public on the 17th of May.

Kensington Palace

The birthplace of Queen Victoria, Kensington Palace now plays the role of official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children.

Large enough to be divided into several apartments, Kensington is also home to a number of other royals. Fellow family members the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and also the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also reside at the palace.

Still, the palace remains open to the public and it's restored orangery currently houses an exhibition containing Princess Diana's wedding dress. Attached to the Palace is also the Sunken Garden (pictured) which is now replanted in white in memory of Diana.

St James's Palace

A tudor palace built between 1531 and 1536 by King Henry VIII, St James ' s Palace is an important setting for much of our British History and remains a key location for royal court functions today, containing many state apartments.

Within the Palace walls lies the famous Chapel Royal in which Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert were married in 1840.

In more recent times, St James's Palace has witnessed the christening of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's firstborn, Prince George, in 2013.

The Palace is also now home to a number of the Royal Family, including the Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra.

Clarence House

Originally built between 1825 and 1827 to the credit of John Nash by order of Prince William Henry, the Duke of Clarence after which the building was named, Clarence House may not strictly be a palace, but is by no means lacking in grandeur.

Situated beside St James's, the stately house is now the official abode of the Queen's son, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall having previously been the home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother from 1953 to 2002 and also the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh following their marriage.

The ground floor of Clarence House is usually open to visitors in August if you plan to visit, where it's royal art collection and lavish furnishings can be admired at leisure.

The Tower of London

One of London's most popular attractions, this royal residence has a long and somewhat bloody history. Over the years the Tower of London has served as an armed fortress, a luxurious palace and also a prison.

Many famous personages have been held captive, tortured and even executed at the White Tower throughout history, perhaps most famously Anne Boleyn during the reign of Henry VIII.

Open again on the 19th May, many come to learn about the Tower's gruesome past but the fortress is also home to the Royal Mint museum, the bedazzling crown jewels amongst the royal collection of 23,578 gemstones and of course the ever-cheerful Yeoman Warders and their friendly feathered guardians of the tower, the black ravens.

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