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Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is the Queen's official and main royal London home. It is used also for the administrative work for the monarchy. Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain's monarchy since 1837. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there. Inside Buckingham Palace The Palace has around 600 rooms, including 19 State rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, a cinema and a swimming pool. It also has its own post office and police station. About 400 people work at the Palace, including domestic servants, chefs, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, gardeners, electricians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks. Royal Flag When the Queen is at home, you can see her royal flag flying from the flag pole on top of Buckingham Palace. This flag is called the Royal Standard. In flag protocol, the Royal Standard is supreme. It must only be flown from buildings where the Queen is present. Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the biggest castle in England and the largest fortress in the world. The castle was the inspiration for the Royal family. William the Conqueror built the castle in 1080 and it has remained a royal palace and fortress for over 900 years. Windsor is the oldest royal home in Britain and, covering 13 acres, it's the largest castle in the world that is still lived in. Each year, the Order of the Garter ceremony is held at Windsor Castle, and the Queen occasionally hosts a "dine and sleeps" for politicians and public figures. Balmoral Castle Balmoral Castle is one of the residences of the Queen. This castle is located on the large Balmoral Estate in Scotland. It has remained a favourite residence of The Queen and her family during the summer holiday period in August and September. About 85000 tourists visit Balmoral each year. The Holyrood Palace Holyrood Abbey was founded by David I, King of Scots in 1128. The Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh is the Queen's official residence in Scotland. The Holyrood Palace was also the home of many Scottish royals: King James IV (1488-1513); James V (1513-42); Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567); James VI and I(1603-1625); Charles II (1660-85); Bonnie Prince Charlie (1720-1788); George IV (1762-1830). Queen Elizabeth II spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official ceremonies. During Holyrood Week Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invite 8000 Scottish guests to the Garden Party. Sandringham House Sandringham House is The Royal family’s private country retreat in Norfolk. Every Christmas the Royal family is spent at Sandringham House, which has been the private home of four generations of sovereigns since 1862. Other Royal Family Homes Past Royal Homes Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) Hampton Court Palace Tower of London The Banqueting House (Whitehall Palace)