Buckingham Palace: 240 bedrooms and an ATM (plus 7 more fascinating facts)

Buckingham Palace is only one of the more than 15 royal residences throughout the United Kingdom and has been the official home of the monarchy since 1837, making it much more than just a home to Queen Elizabeth and members of her family. With a long history also comes a lot of upkeep.

It was revealed Wednesday that the Queen may have to temporarily move out of the London landmark as it is in need of renovation work costing an estimated $236 million. It has not been redecorated since the 1950s and now needs significant modernization from plumbing replacement to the removal of asbestos.

As the Palace is about ready for a makeover, we decided to round up some more fun facts about the royal home you probably didn't know.

Buckingham Palace is just as much an office building as it is a residential home for the monarchy Photo: Getty Images

1. More rooms than you can count
Buckingham Palace is so big, you could easily lose count tallying up the number of rooms — 775 to be exact. According to the official website of the British Monarchy, the breakdown includes 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms and 19 different state rooms.

2. It has better amenities than a five-star hotel
The Queen's home is equipped with a chapel, a post office, a swimming pool, a staff cafeteria, a doctor's office (outfitted for surgical procedures) and a movie theater.

Queen Elizabeth shaking hands with Ambassador of Hungary Peter Szabadhegy in the Palace Photo: Getty Images

3. The Palace has its own ATM
In 2001, now-former head of Coutts bank, Gordon Pell, confirmed to The Standard that there is indeed an ATM inside Buckingham Palace. It is tucked away in the Palace basement and reserved for the royal family.

4. The Queen's corgis have free reign of the place
In Brian Hoey's 2011 tell-all book Not In Front of the Corgis, a royal footman told the author that Queen Elizabeth's beloved canines "are allowed unrestricted access to any part of any royal residence; nowhere is off-limits.” As they're not completely house-trained, the pups sometimes relieve themselves inside the Palace and footmen have to clean up after them.

The guards in front of Buckingham Palace change every other day Photo: Getty Images

5. Monarchs prefer separate beds
There used to be a time when most husbands and wives had separate bed chambers, but in the last century customs have changed. While the author doesn't go in depth into every royals' sleeping habits, Hoey did note that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip sleep in separate rooms. It's not for tradition's sake, however, apparently Philip likes to sleep with the windows open, regardless of the weather.

6. Impressive gardens
A British quiz show in the vein of Jeopardy! touts that the Palace is home to the largest private garden in all of London. The well-manicured greenery encompasses 40 acres — four times the size of Wembley Stadiums, where major soccer matches (and the occasional football game) take place.

7. It has an underground tunnel system
While there is no secret underground Tube station as many believe, the Palace does have secret tunnels that connect it to Clarence House and the House of Parliament.

Buckingham Palace is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the United Kingdom Photo: Getty Images

8. An unwelcome guest lived in the basement
According to the Telegraph, once when the Queen Mother was exploring the basements with King George VI, they found a man lurking there that neither of them recognized. It turns out, he wasn't a member of the royal family or their staff, but rather a "friend of a friend" who chose to crash there for a bit.

9. The Palace is not exempt from break-ins
In 1982, a man named Michael Fagan managed to get past the gates and the royal guard, scale the walls of Buckingham Palace and have a brief conversation with Queen Elizabeth before being escorted out by officers. According to an interview the intruder gave The Independent, the 33-year-old tripped several alarms and even stole a sip of wine during his time inside the Palace.

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