топик Buckingham Palace / Букингемский дворец
Buckingham Palace is the official home of the Queen. It was rebuilt by John Nash in the early 1800s, and was added to in Victorian times. It is a busy royal office, and state occasions are held there.
The Queen and Queen’s Family stay at the Palace on weekdays. They have rooms on the first floor of the north wing. When the Queen is staying the Royal Standard flag is flown above the central balcony. About 400 people work at the Palace, including domestic servants, chefs, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, gardeners, chauffeurs, electrIcians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks. About 80 employees live in the Palace rooms.
Part of the Queen’s apartment is a sitting room-cumoffice where she works. Every morning during breakfast bagpipes are played on the terrace outside her private dining room. Prince has his own office and library.
The Palace has its own post-office and its mail is sent free, because Britain’s postal service, the «Royal Mail», is run with the Queen’s permission. In the morning lorries eliver fruit and vegetables to the Palace from the royal farms. There are about 600 rooms at the Palace, on three main floors.
On the third floor there are wardrobe rooms full of the Queen’s clothes and jewels. Assistants make sure every outfit is in perfect condition. They are all carefully listed and indexed, and records are kept of the outfits the Queen has worn on every occasion.
The royal family stands on the central balcony at the front of the Palace to wave to the crowds on important occasions. Behind this famous Balcony is a room decorated with yellow silks and Chinese-style furniture and wallpaper.
The Queen’s Gallery is open to the public on most weekdays. It houses paintings, drawings and furniture from the royal collection, including portraits of members of the royal family who have lived at the Palace.
The 40-acre private garden has its own lake and a stock of pink flamingos. Every year garden parties are held there, with thousands of guests invited from all walks of life. Sometimes the Queen walks her dogs around the grounds. There is an indoor swimming pool and a cinema at the Palace, too.
Some of the grandest rooms in the Palace are the State Apartments, on the first floor of the west wing. They include the White, Green and Blue Drawing Rooms, each decorated to march their names. There is a Music Room, a State Dining Room with a table for 60 guests, and a huge ballroom where medals are presented at special ceremonies.
Five regiments of Foot Guards from the Household Brigade mount regular guard outside the Palace. The Guard is changed in the Palace forecourt when the Queen is in residence. The ceremony lasts for about half an hour.
The Royal Mews
On some weekday you can visit the Palace Royal Mews, and see the horses and coaches used by royalty, including the Gold State Coach and the glass coach used at royal weddings. On a visit to the Mews you may see a royal car driving in or out. There are about twenty, mostly Rolls Royces. Instead of licence plates the Queen’s official cars show the royal coat of arms.