Buckingham Palace, The Mall, SW1
If it is shown on screen, Buckingham Palace is usually glimpsed behind the credits, or whizzing past the window of a taxi, to signify ‘tourist newly arrived in London’.
Northerner Nancy Jones (Rita Tushingham), in just such a situation in The Knack, ponders whether the building might be the YWCA she’s looking for. Indeed, it might well be. The Palace’s disappointingly dull appearance, a particularly pompous provincial town hall, means it’s rarely taken seriously. Oliver Reed and Michael Crawford find that it doesn’t offer enough of a challenge for their planned caper in The Jokers: “Flag’s not flying. That’s making it too easy!”.
Director Bob Clark didn't bother to get permission for the cheekily-grabbed shot in his Jack the Ripper yarn, Murder By Decree, as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson (Christopher Plummer and James Mason) drive by the Palace in a Hansom cab. Austin Powers collects his knighthood from the Palace in Goldmember, as does villain Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), after making a spectacular parachute entrance, in Die Another Day.
The palace’s longest screen time must be in Ooh... You Are Awful (aka Get Charlie Tully), a vehicle for British TV character-comedian Dick Emery, which sees conman Charlie Tully (Emery) marrying off Princess Anne to a gullible Italian businessman’s son at the Queen’s Picture Gallery.
The Palace has only been the monarch's residence since 1837, when Queen Victoria moved in. The forecourt and gates date from only 1911. The original ceremonial gateway proved too narrow for a royal palace and now stands, rather pointlessly, at the top of Park Lane as Marble Arch.
Die Another Day (2002, dir: Lee Tamahori)
The Knack... And How To Get It (1965, dir: Richard Lester)
The Jokers (1967, dir: Michael Winner)
Murder By Decree (1979, dir: Bob Clark)
Ooh... You Are Awful (1972, die: Cliff Owen)