On 7th October 2013, Buckingham Palace held its first official football match to commemorate the 150th anniversary of England’s Football Association. Indeed Oxford University was a former winner of the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world – albeit back in 1870s!

The idea of a palace match was from the football-mad Prince William, who told players that “we will be playing football on my grandmother’s lawn. One warning, though – if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.” See highlights of this momentous occasion below.

With so much global fascination about Buckingham Palace, the Oxford Scholastica Academy has selected its top 5 Palace facts:

  • With 800 staff working at the Palace, the most unusual jobs include a fendersmith (who clean/repair the metal fenders before fireplaces), clockmaker and flagman.
  • Housing 350 clocks and watches, there are two full-time horological conservators who wind each of the 350 clocks/watches every week and keep them in good working order. You do not want to wind up these people!
  • Marble Arch, a popular tourist site in West London, was originally at the entrance to Buckingham Palace but had to be moved to its present site near Speakers’ Corner in 1851.
  • The Palace has more than 750 windows and 1500 doors – it keeps the local cleaners busy as all the windows are cleaned every six weeks to keep them sparkling.
  • Hundreds of distinguished historic figures have visited including a seven-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Charles Dickens, American Presidents including Woodrow Wilson and JFKennedy, Mahatma Gandhi (who wore a loin cloth and sandals to tea with King George V), first man on the moon Neil Armstrong and Nelson Mandela.

Photo by Jimmy Harris (CC BY 2.0)