Some of the world’s most beautiful buildings are palaces. No expense has been spared in investing in the construction of these most luxuriant buildings. It has been seen in many country’s as a matter of pride that the nation’s royal family live in the most splendid palaces.
Today not all palaces are occupied by royalty. Over the centuries revolution and political change has seen many royal families exiled and now their splendid residence is now occupied by presidents other high ranking dignitaries.
One of the surviving royal families in the world are today found in Thailand. The current King is Maha Vajiralongkorn who was proclaimed King on 1st December 2016 following the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The main palace is the Grand Palace in Bangkok which has been the residence to the King of Siam since 1782. It is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River occupying a space of 218,000 square metres. There are numerous buildings that have been constructed during different eras and they are separated by immaculate gardens.
As well as the palace in Bangkok there are numerous other palaces throughout the country. These are either for the residence of other members of the Royal Family or as used for holiday destinations for the King. One such place is the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin which is a favorite summer retreat for the Thai Royals.
A country who experienced a revolution was France. The last monarch of the country Louis XIV resided mostly in the Palace of Versailles which is 20 kilomteres to the south west of the capital, Paris. Much of the main buildings, gardens and splendid chateaus were completed during the last monarch’s time on the throne. The vast amounts of money he spent on his Palace did little to adhere himself to the French public and when the revolution came he received little support from the people who lived in poverty, while he and his family survived in such opulence.
Spain has been ruled by monarchs for over a thousand years and there are numerous palaces in the country. The main palace is the Royal Palace of Madrid which was built in the 9th century but has been continually redeveloped over the centuries.
It is the largest palace in Europe with 2800 rooms. However the Royal Family choose not to live in this palace and it is used for government business. The current monarch King Felipe VI prefers to live in smaller Palace of Zarzuela which is located on the outskirts of Madrid. The Palace of Zarzuela was built as a hunting lodge in the 17th century and it has been home to the Royals since 1962. The decision of the Spanish Royals to leave the larger palaces for official use has made them popular among the population of Spain.
The British Royal family also has a number of Palaces at their disposal. The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II is Buckingham Palace which is located in the heart of London in the City of Westminster. The Palace was originally built as a large town house for Lord Buckingham in 1703 before being purchased by King George III in 1761.
Since Queen Victoria took residence in 1837 it has been the main home to the British Royal family. It occupies a space of 77,000 square metres and has 770 rooms. It is famed for the banquets and balls it hosts for visiting foreign Heads of State.
The current Queen prefers to spend her weekends in residence 26 miles to the west of London in Windsor castle. Originally built in the 11th century the residence is a celebration of Georgian architecture. Nearby is the Royal Windsor Park where the Royal family spend much of their time riding horses, playing Polo and generally relaxing. The world is full of splendidly decorated palaces but many are no longer occupied by those that they were originally intended for.