St. James's Palace, London

St. James's Palace, London

Constructed in the 1530s by Henry VIII, who also laid out the hunting grounds that eventually became Saint James's Park, Saint James's Palace marked the first royal dwelling on this particular parcel of land, located to the south of Piccadilly and to the north of The Mall. Following the devastating fire that engulfed Whitehall Palace in 1698, all of London's attention shifted to this palace, which assumed the role of the new royal residence. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the surrounding area grew into a prestigious residential district, leading to the disappearance of older estates as mansions sprouted and streets were carefully planned for the aristocracy.

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II delivered her first address as monarch from this historic location, and foreign ambassadors continue to hold official accreditation to the Court of Saint James's. While the palace houses various royal chambers and administrative offices, it remains off-limits to the general public. Nevertheless, the unassuming Tudor facade is worth a brief detour from The Mall, and the Friary Court in front provides an impressive backdrop for Trooping the Colour, a component of the Queen's official birthday festivities.

Visitors often seize the opportunity to capture a photo of the guardsman in scarlet attire standing watch outside the imposing Tudor gateway. It's worth noting that the Changing the Guard ceremony at this location occurs solely on days when there is a changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in London. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. James's Palace on Map

Sight Name: St. James's Palace
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

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