Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Originally Buckingham House, it was built for John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, in 1703, and was purchased from his descendant Sir Charles Sheffield in 1762 by King George III of the United Kingdom, becoming the Royal residence in 1837.
This relatively recent addition to the property of the royal family has subsequently been substantially rebuilt and refurbished. A statue of Queen Victoria stands outside the main gate. The road leading up to the palace is known as The Mall. Behind the palace lie Buckingham Palace Gardens and the Royal Mews.
Buckingham Palace is the venue for the regular ceremony of the Changing of the Guard, a major tourist attraction. The opening up of parts of the palace itself to the public was a revolutionary change to tradition when it began during the 1990s.