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It's easy to see if The Queen is at home in the 18th-century Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British Head of State, as the Royal Standard flag adorns the building. If Her Majesty is elsewhere, the Union Jack is hoisted instead.
A townhouse was built by the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on the spot where the Palace now stands. In 1826, King George IV asked the famed architect John Nash to convert the building into a palace. Unfortunately he never saw it finished as both he and his younger brother and successor, King William IV, died before the project was completed. In 1837, Queen Victoria became the first monarch to reside at the Palace.
Changing the Guard in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace is always a fascinating spectacle. In the months of May, June and July, the Palace Guards in their typical black fur hats and red uniforms exchange duty every day. In the other months, the ceremony can be seen every other day weather permitting. There is something magical about seeing the immobile Guards suddenly come to life as they exchange duty with the new guard.