Buckingham Palace is a London royal residence and the administrative headquarters of the Monarch of the United

Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the center of state occasions and royal hospitality. It

has been a focal point for the British people in times of national joy and grief.Originally known as Buckingham House,

the building at the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham on a

site that had been privately owned for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as the private

residence of Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was primarily

enlarged by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who built three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham

Palace became the London residence of the British monarch upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.The last major

structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Eastern Front, which houses the famous balcony on

which the British royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds. A German bomb destroyed the chapel of the palace during World

War II; The Queen's Gallery was built on site and opened to the public in 1962 to display works of art from the Royal Collection.