Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. The palace is a major tourist attraction and is the daily setting for the "changing of the guard". It has often been the focal point for British citizens at times of national rejoicing or distress.
Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham and known as Buckingham House; even today it is often referred to as "Buck House". It was acquired by King George III in 1762 as a private residence and became known as "The Queen's House". Over the next 75 years it was enlarged under the auspices of over architects John Nash and Edward Blore until it comprised three wings around a central courtyard. Queen Victoria made Buckingham Palace the official residence of the British monarch in 1837. The present-day public facade of Buckingham Palace was built in the 19th and early 20th century.