Buckingham Palace floor plans revealed: Exactly what's inside the Queen's main residence

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·7 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND  - APRIL 26:  A general view of Buckingham Palace on April 26, 2020 in London,England  . The British government has extended the lockdown restrictions first introduced on March 23 that are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Buckingham Palace is an iconic London building. (Getty Images)

It’s an iconic London structure, a globally recognised palace, and the Queen’s home.

Now Buckingham Palace has been mapped out afresh by an architect to give an insight into the scale of this enormous London house.

The palace has 775 rooms, which can be divided into three sections - the central block, the Queen’s apartments, and the east front.

The central block contains many of the state rooms, some of which will be easily recognised by royal watchers.

Here you will find the grand staircase, with red carpet and pictures of the Royal Family lining the walls.

HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.

Read more: How the Queen became a symbol of stability in the chaos of coronavirus

The central block is also home to the Music Room, where Prince William was christened, and the Green Drawing Room, where the Queen’s weekly audience with the prime minister is held, in usual circumstances.

The Music Room was used for four royal christenings - Charles, Anne, Andrew and William - but hasn’t been used more recently.

The floor plans give an impression of how grand a scale this is all on - the ground floor of the palace is 420ft long and more than 180ft across, while the top floor of this wing is 370ft by 120ft.

The central block also holds the state drawing room, which is where Prince William and Kate had their wedding reception in 2011.

The 1844 room is also in this wing, and will be well recognised by many. It’s where the Queen receives many distinguished guests, including presidents and celebrities.

HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.

It’s been dubbed the most important room in the house because of the guests it receives. It was named after the year Russian Tsar Nicholas I visited.

The Regency Room is familiar too, often used by the Queen for her annual Christmas message, which is broadcast on television and radio every year.

Read more: Royal blood: How celebrities from Ellen DeGeneres to Ralph Fiennes have royal relations

While the Queen has access to 775 rooms when she is in her London home, she only uses about six regularly, in her private apartments.

Here the Queen has her bedroom, a private sitting room, dressing room and bathroom. They are off-limits to everyone except Her Majesty and those close to her.

Those touring the state rooms during the summer opening of the palace won’t be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her unmade bed or breakfast leftovers.

LONDON - DECEMBER : (NO PUBLICATION IN UK MEDIA FOR 28 DAYS) Queen Elizabeth II stands in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas day message to the Commonwealth on December 2008 in London, England.  (Anwar Hussein Collection/Rota/WireImage)
The Queen gave the 2008 message in the Music Room. (WireImage)
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.

There is also a room here which the Queen can use to receive the prime minister each week, and where she meets the Chancellor of the Exchequer before the budget.

In this section, the researchers found a set of rooms with unclear use - the Bobo MacDonald’s suites. Margaret MacDonald, known as Bobo, was the nanny, dresser and confidante of the Queen until her death in 1993 at the age of 89.

What these rooms are used for now is not clear.

In this wing you can also see a set of rooms for Prince Philip, though the 98-year-old is rarely in Buckingham Palace these days.

He spends most of his time in their home in Sandringham, and joined the Queen for Easter Court at Windsor Castle this year. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s unlikely he will be going back to Norfolk in the foreseeable future.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Queen Elizabeth II meets England cricket captain Eoin Morgan (2R), Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib (L), Australia captain Aaron Finch (2L), Bangladesh captain Masrafe Bin Mortaza (3L) and India captain Virat Kohli (R) at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 2019 in London, England. The captains of the teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup meet for a photograph in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace in London, ahead of the competition's Opening Party on the Mall. (Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II met the England Cricket Team in the 1844 Room. (Getty Images)
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE/MANDATORY CREDIT - AFP PHOTO/HUGO BURNAND/CLARENCE HOUSE - /NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS/DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS  A handout photo issued by Clarence House of The Royal Wedding Group in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace in London on April 29, 2011 with Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge (C), Front row (L-R): Grace van Cutsem, Eliza Lopes, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Louise Windsor, William Lowther-Pinkerton. Back Row (L-R): Tom Pettifer, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, James Middleton and Philippa Middleton.     AFP PHOTO/HUGO BURNAND/CLARENCE HOUSE / AFP PHOTO / CLARENCE HOUSE / Hugo Burnand        (Photo credit should read HUGO BURNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
William and Kate had their wedding photos in the Throne Room. (Getty Images)

The final section the team examined is the East Front. This section is undergoing renovation work this year some of which was shown on Buckingham Palace’s Instagram account as early 19th century Chinese wallpaper was painstakingly removed by hand for repair.

In this wing sits the Centre Room, previously called the Chinese Dining Room. This room was largely furnished with items from the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, which was once a royal residence.

The pavilion was sold in 1840 to provide the funds for the Marble Arch, which used to sit closer to the palace, to be moved. This was so Queen Victoria and Prince Albert could extend and get the necessary nursery rooms and living space in the home.

Read more: How the palaces' meticulous diary plans stop one royal upstaging another

HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
The state dining room in the central block with an enormous mahogany table. (HomeAdvisor)
A Royal Collection employee adjusts placings at a recreation of a Victorian dinner in the State Dining Room at the exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace, London. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
The State Dining Room during the exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. (Getty Images)
CORRECTION CREDIT IN CAPTION Queen Elizabeth II (L) and US President Barack Obama (2ndL) pose with US First Lady Michelle Obama (2ndR) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace ahead of a State Banquet on May 24, 2011 in London, England. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle are in the UK for a two day State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.       AFP PHOTO/ POOL (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with the Obamas in the Music Room. (Getty Images)

The East Front is the part of the palace which is best known today to tourists and Londoners, but it was not actually finished until 1850, and so would have been the newer wing for many Victorians.

It was remodelled in 1913 to its present form.

It’s also where the balcony is, where the Royal Family stands to watch the RAF flypast, and where Prince William kissed his new wife on 29 April 2011.

The room behind the balcony is a private part of the palace.

HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
The Queen's apartments are her private rooms in the palace. (HomeAdvisor)

Buckingham Palace was originally called Buckingham House, and is still affectionately known as Buck House by some, and was owned by the Duke of Buckingham after whom it was named.

It once nearly became the House of Commons - after the fire at the Palace of Westminster in 1834, it was briefly considered to move parliament there.

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to live there full time, but she abandoned it for a time after the death of Prince Albert.

Nowadays, it’s lived in by the Queen during the week for most of the year, who then spends the weekends in Windsor.

It’s opened up for a number of weeks during the summer, and about 50,000 people visit, either to see the state rooms, or to be hosted in the palace gardens at a party.

HM Queen Elizabeth II sits in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London, April 20, 2006, as she looks at some of the cards which have been sent to her for her 80th birthday. (Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage)
Queen Elizabeth reading birthday cards for her 80th in the Regency Room. (WireImage)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex meets guests at the Queen's Garden Party in Buckingham Palace, central London on May 29, 2019. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP via Getty Images)
Thousands of guests attend garden parties at the palace each year. (Getty Images)

Read more: Easter Court: Why does the Queen go to Windsor and what does she do at Easter?

The floor plan project was devised and commissioned by HomeAdvisor and carried out by architect Jelena Popovic.

Jonny Addy, the project leader, told Yahoo UK about the reaction when the team realised the scale of the palace.

He said: “In all honesty, we actually didn't realise the scale of the palace (or the project) until we began researching.

“We initially planned for the research to take two weeks and it ended up taking two months. It wasn't until we started going through the thousands of photos that exist of the palace that we realised just how massive it is.

“It was a bit of a shock! But it's such a beautiful building and so iconic that our shock soon turned to delight.”

He added that it was one of the biggest projects his team has ever done, but that they “love to take on a challenge.”

HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
HomeAdvisor has mapped Buckingham Palace to show what it looks like inside.
Kate Middleton's parents Michael and Carole Middleton (left) and members of the royal family join Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, (centre) who has been given the title of The Duchess of Cambridge, as they kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, following their wedding at Westminster Abbey.   (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
The balcony on the East Front is one of the best known parts of the palace. (Getty Images)
LONDON, June 8, 2019 -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II C and her family members are seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark her 93rd birthday in London, Britain, on June 8, 2019. Queen Elizabeth celebrated her official 93rd birthday in London Saturday, with a family gathering on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. (Xinhua/Ray Tang) (Xinhua/Ray Tang via Getty Images)
The balcony is where the family stands to watch the RAF flypast on the Queen's official birthday. (Getty Images)

He said: “As soon as we found out that no publicly-available floor-plan existed, we knew we had to make one.”

The team researched the palace from available information through the Royal Family’s website, the Royal Collection Trust and Historic England.

But there are still some sections of the palace which remain a mystery, used by palace staff.