St. James Palace


St. James Palace is a rambling and picturesque brick mansion of Tudor origin built in the late 1530s.  It was a primary royal residence only briefly, mainly during the reign of Elizabeth I and during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.   In 1952 Queen Elizabeth II made her first speech as queen here.  Foreign ambassadors are still accredited to “the Court of St. James”.  The name of the palace is derived from a leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less, which was located here until Henry VIII replaced it with a palace designed by the artist Holbein.  The chief relic of this Tudor palace is the picturesque four-story gatehouse or clock tower. There are no public visits to the palace. 
When Charles and Diana divorced, this palace was the official London residence of Charles.  After Diana's death,  her casket rested in the small chapel until public outcry caused the monarchy to move it to Kensington Palace.  The palace buildings are now occupied by privileged Crown servants.


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