The story behind the Queen's Buckingham Palace balcony ahead of first appearance in 3 years

The royals gather on the balcony for Trooping the Colour

The royal family's appearance on Buckingham Palace's balcony is one of the highlights of Trooping the Colour each year, and is set to happen again as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

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The event will mark the first time in three years that the balcony appearance has taken place due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will feature a smaller selection of working members of the royal family after careful consideration from the Queen.

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The balcony is also where many royals have stood to greet crowds at royal weddings, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen and Prince Philip among the newlyweds who have celebrated outside the palace.

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The traditional annual appearances have made the balcony one of the most recognisable features of Buckingham Palace, however, it is actually one of the more modern additions to the palace.

The royals appear on the balcony for Buckingham Palace

Queen Victoria complained to then Prime Minister, Robert Peel, about the lack of space for accommodation and entertaining when she was living at the Palace – formerly Buckingham House – in February 1845.

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The royals sold Brighton Pavilion and used proceeds of the sale to fund works to construct a new wing, enclosing the forecourt on the Palace's eastern side. The balcony was the most significant part of the new main façade and was built at the suggestion of Prince Albert.

The Queen and Prince Philip appeared on the balcony on their wedding day

From the balcony, Queen Victoria saw her troops depart for the Crimean War and welcomed them on their return. The late Queen also made the first recorded royal balcony appearance in 1851 during celebrations for the opening of the Great Exhibition.

The balcony was built upon Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's request

The entrance to the royal balcony has received a significant makeover in recent years as part of the ongoing renovations at Buckingham Palace. A photo shared on the Royal Family's Twitter account in May 2019 showed how the Principal Corridor, which leads onto the historic balcony, had been removed of all furniture, artwork and carpets while the work was carried out.

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