History: Pools in Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace pool building

Click image for larger sized view.

It was built during the reign of King George VI who decided to add a pool to the palace so that Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret would be able to continue their swimming lessons in privacy and have somewhere to spend their free time.

As the swimming pool is considered to be a strictly private place for the royal family to enjoy some leisure time, it remains off-limits and only one public photograph exists of the interior. This was taken after the palace was bombed during World War 2 which caused significant damage to the pool.

Over the years all of the Royal family have had their swimming lessons there and also use the pool for exercise.

Prince Philip apparently used the pool most often. Before he retiree and moved to Sandringham, Prince Philip used the pool on an almost daily basis.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge use the pool regularly as well and also take their children there for swimming lessons.

Buckingham Palace staff are also allowed to use the pool on their days off however there are certain rules they must follow:

  • They must not enter the pool if a member of the Royal Family is already using it.
  • If a member of staff is swimming and one of the Royals appears they must get out immediately unless the Royal invites them to stay and continue swimming.
  • Staff must swim in a minimum group of 3 in case someone gets into difficulty or becomes ill. One person will stay with the casualty and the other will seek help.

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