Many places in London are closely connected with the Crown. There are royal palaces, royal parks, roads and streets where beautiful ceremonies are held. The most important building is Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II.
Buckingham Palace was bought in 1761 by George III for his wife and became known as the queen's house. It was rebuilt in 1825 for George IV. Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live there.
The royal standard is flown and the ceremony of changing the guard takes place daily when the sovereign is in residence.
The Mall runs southwest to Buckingham Palace. The Mall is a wide, tree-lined avenue, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) long, used for ceremonial processions. It runs from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace through St. Jamess Park.
All together there are ten royal parks in and around London which are owned by the Crown. They are open to the public free of charge. Each park has its own character. St. James's Park is noted for the ornamental waterfowl on its large lake.
Green Park is situated in the north. It was on the hill that King Charles II took his daily constitutional walk.
Hyde Park was once a royal pleasure and hunting ground. After it was opened to the public, crowds used to gather to watch people of fashion ride on horseback or in elegant carriages.
Today the crowds gather near Marble Arch, at the northeast corner of the park, where impromptu orators speak freely on almost every subject.
Only a driveway separates Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens, to the west. Together they form a continuous park of more than 600 acres (240 hectares).
Regents Park was once a hunting place and is now the home of London Zoo, and an open-air theatre which gives performances of Shakespeares plays in summer.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses what is generally regarded as the world's greatest collection of the decorative arts. Its nearly 150 galleries include the British national collections of sculpture, furniture, fashion, and photography.
Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences is one of Britain's principal concert halls and major landmarks. It was built in 1867–71 as a memorial to Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria.
Henry VIII Henry VIII Catherine of Aragon Anne BoleynJane Seymour Catherine Howard born, June 28, 1491, Greenwich, near London died Jan. 28, 1547, London