Buckingham Palace has been the monarch's official London home since 1837 when Queen Victoria lived there, and today the Queen regards it very much as her office. She spends most of her working week there, although she much prefers to be at Windsor Castle. While it’s not the prettiest of buildings, it is the royal HQ, where the business of monarchy and many great state occasions take place.
Take a peek through the gates and you should see the Queen's Guards in all their finery on duty outside Clarence House, the London home of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
When a row broke out in 1992 about who was going to pay for some major fire damage to Windsor Castle, the Queen agreed to open Buckingham Palace to the public to help foot the bill. Since then, summer openings – from late July to the beginning of October – have become an annual event. Tickets cost around £23 (under fives are free) and for an extra £9.50 you can see the Queen's back garden too.
In the know… to know if you stand a chance of seeing her Majesty, take a look at the flagpole. If the Union flag (the UK's national flag) is flying, the Queen is away. If the Royal Standard (look for lots of gold) is hoisted, she's at home.
Nearest Tube: Green Park