Place:St. James's Palace, Westminster, London, England


NameSt. James's Palace
Coordinates51.504722°N 0.1375°W
Located inWestminster, London, England     (1536 - )


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St James's Palace (sometimes incorrectly spelled St James' Palace) is the official residence of the sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, although no longer the principal residence of the monarch, it is the ceremonial meeting place of the Accession Council and the London residence of several minor members of the royal family.

Built by Henry VIII on the site of a leper hospital, dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace remained secondary in importance to the Palace of Whitehall for the majority of Tudor and Stuart monarchs. The palace increased in importance during the reigns of the early Georgian monarchy, but was displaced by Buckingham Palace in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. After decades of being using increasingly for only formal occasions, the move was formalised by Queen Victoria in 1837. Today the palace houses a number of official offices, societies and collections and all ambassadors and high commissioners to the United Kingdom are still accredited to the Court of St James's.

Mainly built between 1531 and 1536 in red-brick, the palace's architecture is primarily Tudor in style. A fire in 1809 destroyed parts of the structure, including the monarch's private apartments, which were never replaced. Some 17th century interiors survive, but the majority were remodelled in the 19th century.


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