Far from narrowly avoiding bombs in the Second World War, Buckingham Palace actually took nine direct hits. Even worse, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were in at the time, and evaded death several times over.
Thanks to lilivanili for the image
Fortnum & Mason
William Fortnum became a footman in Queen Anne’s household in 1707. Thanks to aristocratic protocol dictating that candles should only be burned once, he would come home with bundles of nearly-new candles each day. He and his landlord, Hugh Mason, would then sell the candles at Mason’s stall in St James’ Market. This endeavour made them enough money to open a larger shop, which is today known as Fortnum & Mason.
Thanks to londonmatt for the image
Tower of London
The Crown Jewels have always attracted unwanted attention and in 1671, a notorious rogue, Thomas Blood, nearly escaped with them. After charming the Keeper of the Regalia over a number of visits, he knocked him out one day and grabbed the jewels. But as he fled he was interrupted by the Keeper’s son returning from military duty, captured, and taken before the King. Incredibly, and for unknown reasons, he was granted a full pardon. Some think he managed to win over the King with his wit, while others have speculated that the King himself commissioned the theft, being low on cash at the time.
Thanks to googlisti for the image
Hampton Court Palace
Many of the Royal Palaces are said to be haunted and Hampton Court is no exception. One of its ghosts is thought to be Dame Sybil Penn, a servant to four Tudor monarchs. Sightings began in 1829, shortly after her stately tomb at nearby Hampton church was moved.
In 1737, King George II was robbed while out walking near Kensington Palace. However, while the assailant was armed, he was extremely polite and apologised to the King, explaining that he was a former soldier struggling to feed his family. The King was touched and handed over his rings, brooch and shoe buckles, and didn’t call the guards.
Not just any castle, Windsor is the biggest and oldest castle in the world. It has been in continuous occupation for over 900 years, and has seen off numerous sieges throughout the centuries. In 1649 however, it came perilously close to ruin when a bill to demolish it was defeated in Parliament by just one vote!
Thanks to thomasjleonard for the image
In Edinburgh Castle you’ll find a Laird’s Lug, as it’s known in Scotland, or ‘Lord’s Ear’. It’s a small, barred window in the Great Hall that King James IV could use to listen in on what his subjects were saying in the Great Hall.
Thanks to craigyc for the image
The site of today’s Sandringham House, occupied since Elizabethan times, was cleared in 1770 for the construction of the elaborate Sandringham Hall. In 1862, Sandringham Hall was bought by Queen Victoria for her son the Prince of Wales – he deemed it too small however, and had it razed again so a larger building could be put in its place — today’s Sandringham House.
Thanks to karen_roe for the image
Carisbrook Castle’s royal connection is a more sombre one, as it was here that Charles I was imprisoned during the Civil War. He attempted to escape, but failed after he became wedged in the bars of his cell.
Tower of London
The only time the Tower of London’s defenses were breached was in 1381. It wasn’t an assault by an invading army either. A mob of angry peasants stormed the tower during the Peasant’s Revolt and executed the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Treasurer.
Thanks to kevinpoh for the image