St. James' Palace

St James's Palace is the senior Palace of the Sovereign and still the 'Court' to which foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners are accredited.

It was built between 1532 and 1540 by Henry VIII on the site of the Hospital of St James, Westminster. For over 300 years it was lived in by kings and queens of England. Queen Anne brought the court to St James's in 1702 after the disastrous fire which destroyed the Palace of Whitehall in 1698.

It has remained the official residence of the Sovereign, although since the death of William IV in 1837 the Sovereign has lived at Buckingham Palace.

It was in St James's Palace that Mary Tudor signed the treaty surrendering Calais. Elizabeth I was resident there during the campaign against the Spanish Armada and set out from St James's to address the troops assembled at Tilbury Camp. Charles I was confined to the Palace before his execution in January 1649.

As it is a royal residence that is in use, entry is not allowed but you can walk into the Friary Court and take in the Queen's Chapel where Handel composed some of his more famous works. Nearby Clarence House is where the Queen Mother lives

St. James' Palace
Cleveland Row
Marlborough Gate

Location Map

Nearest Tube / Rail Station
Green Park