St James's Palace

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St James's Palace
St Jamess Palace.jpg
Main entrance of St James's Palace in Pall Mall
Location London, SW1
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′17″N00°08′15″W / 51.50472°N 0.13750°W / 51.50472; -0.13750 Coordinates: 51°30′17″N00°08′15″W / 51.50472°N 0.13750°W / 51.50472; -0.13750
Built1531–1536
Architectural style(s) Tudor
Open street map central london.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of St James's Palace in central London

St James's Palace is 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.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

City of Westminster City and borough in London

The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough that also holds city status. It occupies much of the central area of Greater London including most of the West End. Historically in Middlesex, it is to the west of the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary is the River Thames. The London borough was created with the 1965 establishment of Greater London. Upon its creation, it inherited the city status previously held by the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Westminster from 1900, which was first awarded to Westminster in 1540.

Accession Council

In the United Kingdom, the Accession Council is a ceremonial body which assembles in St James's Palace upon the death of a monarch, to formally proclaim the accession of the successor to the throne. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, a new monarch succeeds automatically. The proclamation merely confirms by name the identity of the heir who has succeeded.

Contents

Built by King Henry VIII on the site of a leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace was secondary in importance to the Palace of Whitehall for most 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 used 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. The palace's Chapel Royal is still used for functions of the British royal family.

Palace of Whitehall building in the City of Westminster, London

The Palace of Whitehall at Westminster, Middlesex, was the main residence of the English monarchs from 1530 until 1698, when most of its structures, except for Inigo Jones's Banqueting House of 1622, were destroyed by fire. It had at one time been the largest palace in Europe, with more than 1,500 rooms, overtaking the Vatican, before itself being overtaken by the expanding Palace of Versailles, which was to reach 2,400 rooms. The palace gives its name, Whitehall, to the street on which many of the current administrative buildings of the present-day British government are situated, and hence metonymically to the central government itself. At its most expansive, the palace extended over much of the area bordered by Northumberland Avenue in the north; to Downing Street and nearly to Derby Gate in the south; and from roughly the elevations of the current buildings facing Horse Guards Road in the west, to the then banks of the River Thames in the east —a total of about 23 acres (9.3 ha). It was about 710 yards (650 m) from Westminster Abbey.

House of Hanover German royal dynasty

The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.

Buckingham Palace Official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

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 most were remodelled in the 19th century.

Tudor architecture architectural style

The Tudor architectural style is the final development of Medieval architecture in England, during the Tudor period (1485–1603) and even beyond, and also the tentative introduction of Renaissance architecture to England. It is generally not used to refer to the whole period of the Tudor dynasty (1485–1603), but to the style used in buildings of some prestige in the period roughly between 1500 and 1560. It followed the Late Gothic Perpendicular style and was superseded by Elizabethan architecture from about 1560 in domestic building of any pretensions to fashion. In the much more slow-moving styles of vernacular architecture "Tudor" has become a designation for styles like half-timbering that characterize the few buildings surviving from before 1485 and others from the Stuart period. In this form the Tudor style long retained its hold on English taste. Nevertheless, 'Tudor style' is an awkward style-designation, with its implied suggestions of continuity through the period of the Tudor dynasty and the misleading impression that there was a style break at the accession of Stuart James I in 1603.

History

Tudors

The palace was commissioned by Henry VIII, on the site of a former leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less. [n 1] The new palace, secondary in the king's interest to Henry's Whitehall Palace, was constructed between 1531 and 1536 as a smaller residence to escape formal court life. [2] Much smaller than the nearby Whitehall, St James's was arranged around a number of courtyards, including the Colour Court, the Ambassador's Court and the Friary Court. The most recognisable feature is the north gatehouse; constructed with four storeys, the gatehouse has two crenellated flanking octagonal towers at its corners and a central clock dominating the uppermost floor and gable; the clock is a later addition, and dates from 1731. [3] It is decorated with the initials H.A. for Henry and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Henry constructed the palace in red brick, with detail picked out in darker brick. [2]

Leprosy Chronic infection caused by bacteria Mycobacteria lepræ and lepromatosis

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a long-term infection by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Initially, a person who is infected does not have symptoms and typically remains this way for 5 to 20 years. Infection can lead to damage of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. This damage may result in a lack of ability to feel pain, which can lead to the loss of parts of extremities from repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds. An infected person may also experience weakness and poor eyesight.

Friary Court

Friary Court is a part of St James's Palace in London, England.

Anne Boleyn Second wife of Henry VIII of England

Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Their marriage, and her execution by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France. Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken off, and instead she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.

The palace was remodelled in 1544, with ceilings painted by Hans Holbein, and was described as a "pleasant royal house". [4] Two of Henry VIII's children died at Saint James's, Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset and Mary I. [5] [6] Elizabeth I often resided at the palace, and is said to have spent the night there while waiting for the Spanish Armada to sail up the Channel. [4]

Hans Holbein the Younger German artist and printmaker

Hans Holbein the Younger was a German painter and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style, and is considered one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire, and Reformation propaganda, and he made a significant contribution to the history of book design. He is called "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father Hans Holbein the Elder, an accomplished painter of the Late Gothic school.

Mary I of England Queen of England and Ireland from 1553-1558

Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. The executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents.

Stuarts

St James's Palace, left, and The Mall, 1715. St James's Palace and The Mall Kip 1715.jpg
St James's Palace, left, and The Mall, 1715.

In 1638, Charles I gave the palace to Marie de Medici, the mother of his wife Henrietta Maria. Marie remained in the palace for three years, but the residence of a Catholic former queen of France proved unpopular with parliament and she was soon asked to leave for Cologne. Charles I spent his final night at St James's before his execution. [1] Oliver Cromwell then took it over, and turned it into barracks during the English Commonwealth period. Charles II, James II, Mary II, Anne and her brother James Francis Stuart (the Old Pretender) were all born at the palace. [1]

Henrietta Maria of France Queen consort of King Charles I

Henrietta Maria of France was queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. She was mother of his two immediate successors, Charles II and James II and VII.

Cologne City in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. With slightly over a million inhabitants within its city boundaries, Cologne is the largest city on the Rhine and also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centered on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.

Charles I of England 17th-century monarch of kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution.

The palace was restored by Charles II following the demise of the Commonwealth, laying out St James's Park at the same time. It became the principal residence of the monarch in London in 1698, during the reign of William III and Mary II after Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire, and became the administrative centre of the monarchy, a role it retains.

House of Hanover

The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace
marriage of the future King George V (1893). Royal Collection. The Marriage of George, Duke of York to Princess Mary of Teck.JPG
The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace
marriage of the future King George V (1893). Royal Collection.

The first two monarchs of the House of Hanover used St James's Palace as their principal London residence. George I and George II both housed their mistresses, the Duchess of Kendal and the Countess of Suffolk respectively, at the palace. [1] In 1757, George II donated the Palace library to the British Museum; [7] this gift was the first part of what later became the Royal Collection. [8] In 1809, a fire destroyed part of the palace, including the monarch's private apartments at the south east corner. [9] These apartments were not replaced, leaving the Queen's Chapel isolated from the rest of the palace by an open area, where Marlborough Road now runs between the two buildings. [10]

George III found St James's increasingly unsuitable. The Tudor palace was regarded as uncomfortable and too cramped for his ever-growing family. In 1762 George purchased Buckingham House the predecessor to Buckingham Palace  for his queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [11] The royal family began spending the majority of their time at Buckingham House, with St James's used for only the most formal of occasions; thrice-weekly levées and public audiences were still held there. In the late 18th century, George III refurbished the state apartments but neglected the living quarters. [12] Queen Victoria formalised the move in 1837, ending St James's status as the primary residence of the monarch. It was nevertheless where Victoria married her husband, Prince Albert, in 1840, and where, eighteen years later, Victoria and Albert's eldest child, Princess Victoria, married her husband, Prince Frederick of Prussia. [1]

For most of the time of the personal union between Great Britain (later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) and the Electorate of Hanover from 1714 until 1837 the ministers of the German Chancery were working in two small rooms within St James's Palace.[ citation needed ]

20th century

The Second Round Table Conference (September – December 1931), pertaining to Indian independence, was held at the palace. On 12 June 1941, Representatives of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, and of the exiled governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia, as well as General de Gaulle of France, met and signed the Declaration of St James's Palace which was the first of six treaties signed that established the United Nations and composed the Charter of the United Nations. [13]

Today

Friary Court at St James's Palace, 2017 St James's palace in London.jpg
Friary Court at St James's Palace, 2017

St James's Palace is still a working palace, and the Royal Court is still formally based there, despite the monarch residing elsewhere. It is also the London residence of the Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice of York, and Princess Alexandra. The palace is used to host official receptions, such as those of visiting heads of state, and charities of which members of the royal family are patrons. The Palace forms part of a sprawling complex of buildings housing Court offices and officials' apartments. The immediate palace complex includes York House, the former home of the Prince of Wales and his sons, Princes William and Harry. Lancaster House, located next-door, is used by HM Government for official receptions, and the nearby Clarence House, the former home of the Queen Mother, is now the residence of the Prince of Wales. [14] The palace also served as the official residence for Princess Eugenie until April 2018. [15]

The nearby Queen's Chapel, built by Inigo Jones, adjoins St James's Palace. While the Queen's Chapel is open to the public at selected times, the Chapel Royal in the palace is not accessible to the public. They both remain active places of worship. [14]

The offices of the Royal Collection Department, the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Chapel Royal, the Gentlemen at Arms, the Yeomen of the Guard and the Queen's Watermen are all housed at St James's Palace. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the Royal Philatelic Collection has been housed at St James's Palace, after spending the entire 20th century at Buckingham Palace. [14]

On 1 June 2007 the palace, Clarence House and other buildings within its curtilage (other than public pavement on Marlborough Road) were designated as a protected site for the purposes of Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The effect of the act was to make it a specific criminal offence for a person to trespass into the site. [16]

See also

Notes

  1. The uncertainty as to which Saint James was intended is expressed in the 1874 work Old and New London, where the author refers to the dedication as to "St. James the Less, Bishop of Jerusalem". James the Just, brother of Jesus, was referred to as Bishop of Jerusalem, not James the Less. [1]

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References

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  2. 1 2 Wagner, John; Walters Schmid, Susan (2011). Encyclopedia of Tudor England. CA, USA: ABC Clio. pp. 1054–1055. ISBN   1598842994.
  3. British History online Chapter IX: St James's Palace Access date 15 October 2014
  4. 1 2 Perry, Maria (1999). The Word of a Prince: A Life of Elizabeth I from Contemporary Documents. Suffolk: Boydell Press. p. 14. ISBN   978-0851156330.
  5. "St James's Palace: History". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  6. Wheatley, Henry; Cunningham, Peter (2011) [1891]. London Past and Present: Its History, Associations, and Traditions . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 285–287. ISBN   1108028071.
  7. Warner, George (1912). Queen Mary's Psalter Miniatures and Drawings by an English Artist of the 14th Century Reproduced from Royal Ms. 2 B. Vii in the British Museum (PDF). London: Britism Museum. p. n.
  8. "Books and Manuscripts". Royal Collection. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  9. "Royal Residences: St James's Palace". The Royal Family. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  10. "St. James' Palace: Henry VIII knocked down a hospital for women with leprosy to build another royal residence". The Vintage News. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  11. Nash, Roy (1980). Buckingham Palace: The Place and the People. London: Macdonald Futura. ISBN   978-0354045292.
  12. Black, Jeremy (2004). George III: America's Last King. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 174. ISBN   978-0300142389.
  13. "1941: The Declaration of St. James' Palace". United Nations. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  14. 1 2 3 "St James's Palace: Today". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  15. Perry, Simon (1 May 2018). "Princess Eugenie and Her Fiancé Jack Brooksbank Just Moved Next Door to Harry and Meghan!". People . Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  16. "Home Office Circular 018 / 2007 (Trespass on protected sites - sections 128-131 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005)". GOV.UK. Home Office. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2017.