St James’s Palace, London SW1A 1BS
- by CityWest Residential
St James’s Palace is the most senior Palace of the Sovereign in the United Kingdom, and is classed as the Queen’s official residence. Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William all live within the confines of the palace. Because of the number of royals who reside in St James’s Palace, it is not officially open to the public. However the palace is worth visiting for its beautiful exterior architecture. St James’s Palace is a striking 16th century palace with many architecturally ornate and interesting features.
Henry VIII commissioned the palace in the year 1530, and chose to build it on the site of a former leper hospital for women, which had been named in honor of St. James. The original red-brick Tudor-style palace surrounded four courtyards was one of the grandest buildings of its time, containing a chapel, gatehouse, and some state apartments. Visitors can still see Henry's insignia at the gatehouse.
Two traditionally attired guards stand outside the main entrance to the palace, which is often visited by royal spotters and enthusiasts. The Tudor red-brick gatehouse where the guards stand is visually striking and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in London. This is the part of the palace most photographed by visitors.
As well as its official royal residents, many members of the royal family also attend the Palace for official engagements. Devoted royalists often see these visitors arriving or leaving the property and relish catching a glimpse of royalty during their walks through St James.
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