The National Palace or Istana Negara is the official residence of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong. Nestled within an area of 11.34 hectare, the palace is serenely enveloped in stunning gardens with a vibrant assortment of beautiful trees and palms.
Historically, the palace’s original building was a privately owned double storey mansion. Built in 1928, with a cost of $150,000.00 the residence held 13 rooms, an extensive ground that was wire-fenced with 3.3 metres high concrete pillars and guard post.
During the Japanese occupation (1942-1945) the mansion was used by the Japanese Military Administration as their officers mess. At the end of the Second World War, the British Military Administration acquired the residence and designated it for their Royal Air Force (RAF) use. Later, the mansion was leased to the Selangor State Government as a temporary palace for the Sultan of Selangor who was at the time, waiting for His Majesty’s new palace to be built in Klang. Once the lease ended in February 1957, the Federal Government bought the residence at $1,408,000.00 and converted it into the official residence of His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Construction and renovation works began in May 1957 by a local contractor. With 60 workers, the transformation work was derived from the architectural designs by Mr. E.K. Dinsdale, an architect from the Public Work Department. All the renovations ad extensions were done through the advice of Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, and the assistance of Tuan Haji Mustafa Al-Bakri, Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal. His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong commenced to reside at the National Palace on 27 August 1957.
In 1980, further enhancement works were done at the palace. The whole palace ground was fenced up and the Royal Insignia of His Majesty was placed on each steel bar between two pillars of the fence. At the main entrance of the National Palace is a beautiful arch with two special guard posts on each side to shelter two members of the cavalry. Commencing 1980, the Installation Ceremony of His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang di-Pertuan Agong is held at the Istana Negara in replace of Tuanku Abdul Rahman Hall in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.