Flags at Buckingham Palace

Flags At Buckingham Palace

Flags at Buckingham Palace

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Flags at Buckingham Palace vary according to the movements of court and tradition. The Queen's Flag Sergeant is responsible for all flags flown from the palace.


Until 1997 the only flag to fly from Buckingham Palace was the Royal Standard, the official flag of the reigning British sovereign, and only when the sovereign was in residence at the palace. Even in times of mourning, the Royal Standard would not fly at half mast. The only time this flag would not fly from the Palace would be upon the death of the sovereign, when the flag of the next most senior member of the Royal Family present at the palace would be raised. In 1952, the Standard of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was raised upon the death of George VI of the United Kingdom because the new sovereign, Elizabeth II, was still in residence at Clarence House.

The size of the flag is varied according to the importance of the event, with a normal-sized flag being used most of the time. On state or ceremonial occasions, such as the wedding of HRH The Duke of Cambridge to Kate Middleton, a much larger flag is flown.

Change of Protocol

This tradition changed in 1997, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the tabloid press reported alleged public outrage because the palace did not fly a flag at half mast. The Queen was at Balmoral Castle at the time, so there was no flag flying. In response to this display of public opinion, the Queen ordered a break with protocol and the Union Flag was flown at...
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