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Inside the Queen's £370million home she never wanted to live in – full tour

Buckingham Palace was the Queen's official residence and now belongs to King Charles - see the best photos from inside

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Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
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Buckingham Palace may be one of the most famous buildings in the world with the biggest private garden in London and a whopping 829,000 square feet of living space, but it was never the Queen's royal residence of choice.

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While Her Majesty used the historic palace as her official residence for most of her reign, it has previously been revealed that she never wanted to move in, and hoped to remain living at Clarence House upon her accession to the throne. Following Queen Elizabeth's passing, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla are now expected to move into Buckingham Palace next year. Charles has already been putting his own discreet personal touches on the property.

WATCH: Inside Buckingham Palace's £369million refurbishment

After the coronavirus pandemic, the monarch primarily lived at Windsor Castle, and while she returned to the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, it was reported that the Queen did not intend to live there permanently.

Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing extensive renovations and modernisation throughout, at an estimated cost of £369million. It features 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms, and 188 bedrooms for the household staff.

1 Buckingham Palace royals

Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing extensive renovations

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Equipped with a chapel, a post office, an indoor swimming pool, a staff cafeteria, a doctor's office and a movie theatre, it has everything you could possibly think of. Take a look inside…

The Principal Corridor

a wide corridor with wooden floors and mint green wallpaper with cream panelling along the lower half and gold detailing running along the edge of each doorway and window positioned every few metres along the way

The royal family Twitter account showed a before and after photo of the Principal Corridor, which leads on to the Balcony, after removing all items ahead of renovation. The post said that the move had included over 3,000 pieces of art.

The Swimming Pool

a rear view of Buckingham Palace in the distance across a large green lawn with a low wall running the width of the building

Before being converted into a swimming pool, the building at the back of the palace acted as a conservatory designed by architect John Nash. King George VI commissioned the pool in 1938 to ensure the privacy of his daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, who had been having lessons at the Bath Club. More recently, it is where the Princess of Wales reportedly took her young children when helping them learn to swim.

Pictures of the exterior show concrete plinths, a vaulted ceiling and large glass windows but the interior remains just for the eyes of the royal family and special guests.

SEE: The Queen's unseen secret rooms at Buckingham Palace

The Picture Gallery

the queen wears a royal blue dress as she stands with a man and a woman observing gold framed oil paintings in a room with a skylight and walls filled with frames from floor to ceiling

Designed by architect John Nash as part of George IV's transformation of Buckingham Palace in the 1820s, the 47-metre picture gallery was designed to display the former king's art collection, but he didn't live to see it completed. Pieces from this gallery have been moved to the Queen's Gallery and will be on display from 4 December – 21 December 2020.

The Yellow Drawing Room

a spacious toom with a long table and floor to ceiling windows which wash the mint green carpet and beige walls in daylight

The official royal family Instagram account previously shared a photo of the yellow drawing room. The post showed a short video in which the wallpaper, an antique first bought by King George, in the drawing room was removed for conservation purposes.

The Private Audience Room

the queen wears a pale blue dress as she stands shaking hands with a navy blue suited man in a room with burgundy and gold carpet a fireplace in the background and white walls decorated with gold framed paintings

If you're lucky enough to be invited for a private audience with the monarch, it will be held in this stunning room within Buckingham Palace. With pale blue walls and dark wooden flooring, it has a more modern feel than some of the other rooms, and Her Majesty's family photographs were often be seen on display in the background as she greets her guests.

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The Regency Room

the queen sits at a large round wooden table positioned in a room adorned with soft furnishings and green carpet

This beautiful room has featured in many of the Queen's official photographs and Christmas broadcasts. The Regency Room has a green and gold colour scheme, with tassel trim sofas, a desk and traditional fireplace.

The Balcony

the seninor members of the royal family stand wearing shades of blue on Buckingham Palace balcony as they look up at the sky

One of the most iconic parts of Buckingham Palace is the balcony, which sits on the front of the residence and is used by the royals at special events including Trooping the Colour and royal weddings.

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The Gardens

a view of buckingham palace garden with trees and the london skyline in the distance and the edge of the stone pillars of the palace just visible to the left as crowds gather on the lawn

The Queen used to welcome over 30,000 guests each year to her summer garden parties, located within the sprawling garden at the back of Buckingham Palace, with King Charles expected to follow tradition. The gardens cover 39 acres and contain more than 350 types of wildflowers, around 200 trees, and a three-acre lake.

The Grand Staircase

a grand circular staircase lined with people leading up to reveal a huge skyline

One of the first things visitors see when entering the Palace is the Grand Staircase, which leads towards the State Rooms upstairs. Red carpet lines the stairs, while historic portraits of members of the royal family are mounted on the walls, providing a dramatic first impression.

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The Palace Ballroom

a huge red carpeted state room with large crystal chandeliers and two long white clothed tables

This breathtaking ballroom is the setting for state banquets, and boasts high ceilings, bold red carpets and huge artworks hanging on the walls. We last saw it used when King Charles hosted a state reception at Buckingham Palace. The ballroom is also used for investiture ceremonies, carried out by the Queen and other senior royals including Prince William.

The 1844 Room

the queen stands in a beautiful reception room adorned with gold leaf furniture and a patterned gold and red rug wear a blush dress and greets a tall elegant woman wearing all white

One of 19 State rooms in the palace, the 1844 Room was often used by Her Majesty when she held audiences with world leaders and other prestigious guests. The grand room has lavish marble columns and gold mirrors hanging on the walls, with traditional patterned rugs and blue and gold chairs.

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The Music Room

the late queen elizabeth and prince philip stand alongside president obama and his wife michelle in front of a high arch between red velvet covered seats

While it is known as The Music Room and houses a piano, The Music Room at Buckingham Palace has actually been the setting for some historic royal events, including the christenings of Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince William.

The Throne Room

a large burgundy and white walled room stands empty but for a pair of thrones positioned centrally against the wall in front of a red velvet curtain

Perhaps one of the most iconic rooms in Buckingham Palace, the Throne Room has been used for everything from balls and investitures to the official wedding photos after Prince William and Kate's royal wedding.

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The White Drawing Room

a white walled room with exceptionally high ceilings is filled with gold chairs and sofas positioned throughout the room

This intimate State Room was regularly used by the Queen for small gatherings and audiences. You may also recognise the room from some of Her Majesty's Christmas broadcasts and formal family photographs. The Queen used to enter the room via a hidden door disguised as a mirror and cabinet before receiving guests.

The State Dining Room

the a large room decorated with deep red carpet and matching wallpaper with small wooden tables pushed to the edges of the room below gold framed paintings

This historic room was used during Prince William and Kate's wedding reception in 2011, and has decorative red wallpaper and carpets, with numerous windows looking out to the beautiful palace gardens below.

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