The graceless colossus of Buckingham Palace, popularly known as “Buck House”, has served as the monarch’s permanent London residence only since the accession of Victoria. Bought by George III in 1762, the building was overhauled in the late 1820s by Nash and again in 1913, producing a palace that’s as bland as it’s possible to be.

For two months of the year, the hallowed portals are grudgingly nudged open. The interior, however, is a bit of an anticlimax: of the palace’s 660 rooms you’re permitted to see twenty or so, and there’s little sign of life, as the Queen decamps to Scotland every summer. For the other ten months there’s little to do here – not that this deters the crowds who mill around the railings, and gather in some force to watch the Changing of the Guard, in which a detachment of the Queen’s Foot Guards marches to appropriate martial music from St James’s Palace (unless it rains, that is).

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