The palace was originally Buckingham House, built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. George III acquired it in 1761. John Nash, the principal
architect of Regency London, built the state rooms on the west side of the house, converting it into a palace for George IV. It became the London
residence of the British monarch upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The Ballroom was added in the
1850s. The inaugural event for the new room, the largest room in London at the time, was a state ball held in celebration of the end of the
On such state occasions, the Royal Family would enter the White Drawing Room from their private quarters. They then would lead a procession through the state rooms to the Ballroom. The guests, who had been mingling, would
fall in behind as the procession passed.
In the story… Diana attends the inaugural ball in May 1856. She hasn’t heard from her fiancé, Alan, since Sebastopol fell eight months earlier. Many
young aristocrats, future members of the House of Lords, are in attendance. Several of them know Diana and are hopeful of advancing a suit if
Alan does not return. She is a popular dance partner.