Thursday, 6 March 2014

Buckingham Palace and the British Flag

6th March 1998

This day in history...First time the British flag is flown over Buckingham Palace

Most people don't give a second thought to the flag that flies above Buckingham Palace - some might say it is more of a tourist gimmick or something that only the Royals understand. Most people also assume that the Union Flag (only Union Jack when flown on a ship) has been above the palace the entire time. This however is not true and has an interesting history behind it.
Image retrieved from Google. Will remove at owner's request.
Until 1998 the only flag that was flown at Buckingham Palace was the Royal Standard, which is the official flag of the reigning British Sovereign and was only flown when said Royal was in residence at the Palace. The only time that a different flag was flown was due to a death within the Royal family. In 1952, for example, the Standard flag of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was raised upon the death of King George VI. The new sovereign's flag was not raised however, as she, Queen Elizabeth II, was in residence at Clarence House, not Buck Palace. 

Image retrieved from Google. Will remove at owner's request.
The Royal Standard flying at Buckingham Palace.
Why the change? Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, there was a public outrage within the tabloids that the palace was not flying a flag at half mast. The Queen was not in residence at the time, so there was no flag flying. However, in response to the public opinion, Queen Elizabeth II ordered a break from protocol and had the Union flag flying at half mast on the funeral of Princess Diana. Since then, the Union flag flies at Buckingham Palace when the Queen is NOT in residence and flies at half mast when there is a death in the Royal family or at a time of national mourning such as; The 7/7 bombings in London, 2005, and the death of Margaret Thatcher, 2013. 

Image retrieved from Google. Will remove at owner's request.
The union flag and royal standard projected onto Buckingham Palace at the
 Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 2012
What are your thoughts on the flags at Buckingham Palace?
Don't forget to follow @Ydaysnews fro more historical events each day!

No comments:

Post a comment