Blenheim Palace is not, and never has been, a home to the British royal family – and yet it is a palace. Not only that, it is considered by many to be the most magnificent residence in Britain, a rival to Queen Elizabeth II’s many not-so-humble abodes.
Gift of a Grateful Nation
Blenheim Palace was given as a gift to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne in the early 18th century in recognition of a job well done. The Duke had won victory for Britain against the Frnech-Bavarian army in the Battle of Blenheim of 1704, a major turning point in the War of the Spanish Succession. On behalf of ‘a grateful nation’, Queen Anne gifted the two-thousand acre royal manor of Woodstock to the Duke. She also agreed that the British nation would foot the bill to build the Duke a palace.