Here's Everyone Who Lived In Buckingham Palace

According to All That's Interesting, the current Royal Family of the United Kingdom is one of the oldest reigning monarchies of all time and has existed for more than 1,200 years. Since 1952, the kingdom has been under the leadership of Queen Elizabeth II, and in June 2022, the Queen became the longest-reigning living monarch, having reigned for 70 years in total. To celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, U.K. residents enjoyed a four-day holiday, and the royal family gathered at Buckingham Palace for major celebrations (via BBC).

Queen Elizabeth and the royal family have an impressive property portfolio, but the most popular location is Buckingham Palace. This edifice is the helm of all royal duties, and it has been the seat of the court since 1837. Since 1993, the Queen has added tourism value by allowing Buckingham Palace to become a public monument. Visitors can take pictures and have a glimpse of notable areas the Queen frequents, such as the garden where parties are held, and staterooms in which many ceremonies are held. However, only a handful can actually enjoy a full tour of the building, and even fewer are granted the opportunity to call it home. Which begs the question, besides Her Majesty the Queen, who else has lived inside this mammoth living space?

Queen Victoria

We cannot discuss all of the inhabitants of Buckingham Palace without speaking about the very first royal resident, Queen Victoria. Historic Royal Palaces reports Queen Victoria was the first to start many trends in the royal family. She was the first royal to have a wedding organized with the public in mind and aimed to boost morale, and she was the first queen to don a white wedding dress for her matrimonial ceremony. She was also the first to move into the palace almost immediately after being sworn in the day the King emeritus passed.

Before the estate was deemed the official royal residence in 1705, Buckingham House (as it was formerly called) belonged to the Earl of Mulgrave, John Sheffield. Queen Victoria's grandfather, King George III, purchased it from the Earl and moved his wife and kids into the home (via BBC History Magazine). Renovations began after King George III's death, with John Nash being the architect in charge. Nash kickstarted the expansion of the house to make it look more like a palace, complete with a sculpture on the exterior. Following the death of King George III's successors, who did not reside at the new Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria became the first ruler to enjoy the luxe-residence, which includes 775 rooms divided into royal bedrooms, offices, staff bedrooms, and bathrooms (via Rethinking The Future).

King Edward VII

Another notable figure we cannot ignore is King Edward VII, who initiated many renovations of the palace during his tenure as king. Queen Victoria's first child was a daughter, but it was the arrival of her first son a year later, the future King Edward VII, which garnered much fanfare. She wrote about the new male heir in one of her diary entries, stating, "Our little boy is a wonderfully strong and large child ... I hope and pray he may be like his dearest Papa" (via BBC History Magazine).

He took up the role of King on January 22, 1901, and became very popular amongst his subjects. He had been well-prepped throughout his youthful years, obtaining the best of the best education to steer the nation properly (via Biography). During Edward's era, he introduced gold and glittery accents to the palace, giving it a Rococo upgrade (via Royal Collection Trust). He also wanted to honor his mother's reign in the front grounds, commissioning the Victoria Memorial fountain we see today.

King George V

The Royal Household reports King Edward VII had three sons. King George V was his second and became heir apparent when his older brother died suddenly in 1892. During his reign, Kind George V refaced the front of Buckingham Palace, swapping out the original Caen stone with Portland stone, which matched the finished Victoria Memorial better (via Royal Collection Trust). But the change wasn't just about aesthetics — Caen is a softer stone, and it began to crumble after two decades, injuring people below. Portland stone was sturdier and could stand the test of time (via Goldholme Stone).

King George V's wife was Queen Mary, and she reportedly was savvy in the world of interior design. When Buckingham Palace became the royal family's official residence after her father-in-law passed, she sought the assistance of a decorating firm, White Allom & Co. (via Architectural Digest). She and her team worked to subdue the previous king's Rococo style and instead bring back the dignified Regency style from a century ago.

King George VI

King George VI is the current queen's late father. Until today, the story of how he became king can easily be mistaken for a Shakespearean novel. According to Vanity Fair, his brother, King Edward VIII, was the rightful successor to the throne after the passing of King George V and assumed his role of serving the country with all his might. 

The younger George's tenure turned out to be short-lived. He was madly in love with twice-divorced socialite Wallis Simpson and wished to marry her, but the law forbade a royal from marrying a divorcee. The Queen Mother, Mary of Teck, put her foot down and demanded he end the relationship but, much to everyone's shock, King Edward VIII chose to abdicate and leave the leadership role to his brother, King George VI (via Brides).

King George VI lived in Buckingham Palace throughout his tenure, and after he moved in, he discovered just how massive the place was. One day, as he walked the grounds alongside his wife, he came across a man from Newcastle living inside one of the numerous tunnels Buckingham Palace boasts (via Tootbus). As his tenure continued, the king was faced with many threats to his life and the royal residence during World War II's bombing campaigns, forcing him to temporarily move his wife and daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, out of the shared family abode for their safety (via The Royal Household).

Princess Margaret

According to PopSugar, after King George VI claimed the seat of power in Buckingham Palace, his whole family moved into the abode accordingly, including Elizabeth II's younger sister, Princess Margaret. However, when the danger of palace bombings during World War II became imminent, Margaret and her sister had to move into Windsor Castle, marking the last time she was able to call Buckingham Palace home.

Margaret was reportedly fond of the royal parks. London Toolkit recognizes eight Royal Parks within miles of Buckingham Palace, the most popular of which is St. James Park, bordering the palace on the west side and where the royal guard change starts. It was named after King James I, who famously kept his animal collection there, including snakes, elephants, and camels.

Princess Margaret was quite close with her sister and, despite growing up to become a fine young lady, the media loved to paint her as a rebel thanks to her love for parties (via BBC History Magazine). When she moved out of Buckingham Palace and married, her sister granted her ownership of another of the royal properties, Kensington Palace. She ended up installing a private line in the Palace, through which she and Queen Elizabeth II used to keep in touch (via Vanity Fair).

Queen Elizabeth II

BBC reported that Queen Elizabeth II began a palace renovation a few years ago, even though Buckingham Palace had been virtually untouched since 1949 when her father, King George VI, was king. One such room is the White Drawing Room, the chosen room for family photos. Between 1947 and 2011, the room continued to boast the same features, including the massive crystal chandelier, ornate gold mirrors hung on the walls, and furniture in yellow and gold patterned upholstery. "Most people decorate their houses, mainly for fashion reasons, every 10 years or so," historian Ellen Leslie told BBC, "but this isn't what the Royal Family are into when it comes to Buckingham Palace. They want it to keep looking the same."

The queen no longer lives in Buckingham Palace, and moved into Windsor Castle in Berkshire during the pandemic in 2020 (via People). While her new residence is Windsor, she still occasionally comes back to the London palace for events.

Prince Philip Mountbatten

Metro reports that Queen Elizabeth II first fell for Prince Philip Mountbatten when they met in their teenage years courtesy of a family visit to the Royal Naval College in 1939. This affection was clearly not a secret because her father's biographer, Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, referred to Prince Philip as "the man with whom Princess Elizabeth had been in love from their first meeting." When they married on November 20, 1947, he became the Duke of Edinburgh, and their bond remained such that even after 50 years together, when the Queen referred to him, she stated, "he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years."

They put their stamp on Buckingham Palace when they moved in following the death of Queen Elizabeth II's father (via Architectural Digest). In 1962, they combined efforts to turn an old, crumbled chapel into The Queen's Gallery, a regal room with walls boasting lush fabric, dedicated to honoring and displaying the jewels and artifacts that make up the Royal Collection.

Prince Philip officially retired from his royal duties in 2017 when he moved out of Buckingham Palace and into Sandringham. The country estate allowed the duke to separate himself from the work of the palace, and instead focus on enjoying retirement in their royal cottage. He enjoyed this slowed-down lifestyle for several years, until he died on April 9, 2021 (via Woman & Home).

Prince Charles

At 72 years old, Prince Charles holds the record of being the longest-serving heir to the throne. Prince of Wales reports that his mother (then Princess Elizabeth) gave birth to him at Buckingham Palace on November 1948. Instead of a hospital ward, his parents chose to deliver him within the royal residence, choosing The Music Room as the ward. When Elizabeth became Queen, Charles was four years old, and he and his parents officially moved into the residence. 

As heir apparent, Prince Charles is next in line to the throne. When he is crowned King of England, he and his wife Camilla will reside in Buckingham Palace. They currently live in Windsor Castle, but it's believed they will move into the iconic palace. According to Daily Mail, a source shared that Charles is "firmly of the view that it's the visible symbol of the monarchy in the nation's capital and therefore must be his home."

Princess Anne

According to Express, Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter, Princess Anne, was not born in Buckingham Palace like her brothers. Instead, she was born at another family residence in London, Clarence House. At the time of her birth in 1950, Buckingham Palace was in dire need of renovations following damage caused by the World War II bombings. 

She was born two years after Prince Charles and spent her childhood in Buckingham Palace. Over the years, there were tons of pictures taken of Princess Anne smiling in the garden of Buckingham Palace. This garden sits on 39 acres, boasting trees planted and named after the late Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. It has been termed the largest private garden in London and is also the location for Queen Elizabeth II's highly acclaimed garden parties. During the summer, you can purchase a ticket to peruse the myriad of wildflower species that have been curated within the space (via Essential Travel Guide). Princess Anne grew to become an accomplished equestrian, much like her mother. When she got married, she moved out of Buckingham Palace into a manor house known as Gatcombe Park, an abode sitting on more than 700 acres of land gifted to her by Queen Elizabeth II (via Country Living).

Prince Andrew

Queen Elizabeth II's third child is Prince Andrew. He, who became the Duke of York, was also the first child Queen Elizabeth II had as a reigning monarch. She had him seven years after her coronation, and because it was custom for the nation's ruler to live in Buckingham Palace, he was birthed in the palace's Belgian suite within a makeshift hospital, as per English Monarchs. Buckingham Palace is well equipped with a hospital wing known as The Royal Mews Surgery; however, this is not used by the Queen. Instead, Dr. Timothy Evans is on hand as a general practitioner to offer the staff who work at Buckingham Palace adequate healthcare (via The Sun).

According to Woman & Home, Prince Andrew currently lives in a mansion called the Royal Lodge with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. He moved into the estate in 2004, and Ferguson moved in four years later. He still resides there even though he has lost his royal titles due to his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (via Associated Press).

Prince Edward

The birth of Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth II's youngest child, made the headlines because it was the first time a British Royal had her husband with her in the labor room, as per The New York Times. Prince Edward was born in the palace music room in the same makeshift hospital as his older brothers. The music room was also the chosen location for royal christenings for his older siblings and his nephew, Prince William (via BBC History Magazine).

For much of his life, Edward has stayed out of the tabloids. His love for the production of entertainment, film, and television led him to take up a production assistant role with acclaimed theater legend Andrew Lloyd Webber. He later started a production company, Ardent Productions, in 1993 (via Tatler). It is easy to believe that if any member of the royal family made use of Buckingham Palace's indoor private cinema that serves as an entertainment hub for the staff, it was likely Prince Edward (via The Times).

Despite currently living in Surrey outside London, Buckingham Palace is the location of his office (via Smooth Radio). After Prince Andrew took a step back from his royal duties, Prince Edward is set to take over these roles. He could also be granted his late father's position as Duke of Edinburgh, which means his life could get much busier (via Town & Country).

Sophie, Countess of Wessex

According to Britannica, in 1999, Prince Edward married the love of his life, Sophie Rhys-Jones, who was also in the media and communications business. Together, they became the Earl and the Countess of Wessex, a title gifted to them as a wedding present by Queen Elizabeth II.

Sophie appears to be one of the Queen's favorite people, so much so that, before she became the Countess of Wessex when she tied the knot with Edward, she was a very welcome visitor to Buckingham Palace (via Express). Sophie reportedly had her own room within the mammoth of a home, free to come and go as she pleased. 

In the 23 years since their marriage became official, Sophie went from having a room to becoming the lady of the house in charge of a private apartment in Buckingham Palace, which she shares with her husband and two children (via HITC). They use this apartment when visiting London — they currently reside in Surrey.

The Queen's famous corgis

From the first moment Queen Elizabeth II came under the scrutiny of the media to date, the public has watched her love for animals blossom, particularly her love for dogs. According to Metro, the equestrian Queen has a number of race horses, but her corgis have become famous for always being by her side. Her father gifted her first corgi at age seven after she fell in love with the Marquess of Bath's dog.

Eleven years later, Queen Elizabeth II was gifted a corgi pup named Susan. She would own corgis, all descendants from Susan, over the next 30 years. When Susan died, her gravestone read "Susan ... Born 20th Feb 1944 ... Died 26th Jan 1959 ... For almost 15 years, the faithful companion of The Queen" (via BBC). Clearly, her pets kept her company at all times, including during her time in Buckingham Palace. Her dogs reportedly have led lavish lives: They ate luxurious meals of beef and rabbit meat and had their very own "corgi room" with plush anti-draft baskets in which they slept. It is rumored a younger Queen herself doted on them with grooming times and Christmas stockings hung up to be filled with all sorts of treats (via Marie Claire).

The royal staff

In a building that boasts almost 800 rooms, numerous windows, and appliances, we surely do not expect the Queen to be in charge of maintenance. According to The Royal Household, there are different departments of staffers assigned to various tasks, but The Master of the Household's Department is in charge of all domestic and hospitality events. 

The Royal Household Staff consists of over 1,000 individuals in employment. Some unique roles which remain in existence include The Royal Horological Conservator, who ensures that all the 1,000 clocks in Buckingham Palace are set to the correct time; a hereditary role called The Grand Carver, who is in charge of cutting up the meats at royal feasts; the Astronomer Royal, who is the ruler's head consultant on all astrological matters; the Chief Flag Bearer, who raises the Royal Standard flag when the Queen is in residence; and many more (via Ranker). 

Reports show that these household staff members are recruited by officials in charge, not necessarily by the Queen herself (via The Royal Household). Most of the staff hired at Buckingham Palace are made to sign a document binding them never to disclose what goes on behind closed doors. Still, perks include access to the building's facilities, including healthcare, recreational activities, and a handy ATM (via Forbes).