St James's Palace
Pall Mall and St James's Street, SW1
Nearest Tube: St James's Park.
St James's Palace is best approached from St James's Street so that you can see the red brick gatehouse that dates back to the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47). Much of the façade of the palace however dates from the 19th Century when John Nash remodelled it for George IV (1820-30).
It is hard to believe that this palace, in what is now one of the most exclusive districts in London, was built on the former site of a hospital for women with leprosy. But this is indeed the case and the name of the palace comes from the name of the hospital.
Henry VIII (1509-47) demolished the hospital in 1532 and then built the palace for his wife Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). St James's Palace then became the main Royal residence from the reign of William III (1689-1702) until Queen Victoria (1837-1901) chose to live in Buckingham Palace in 1837.
Today the Duke and Duchess of Kent reside at the palace, and Prince Charles has an apartment here. St James's Palace is also the official place where the queen receives foreign ambassadors.
St James's palace is not open to the public. Nearby attractions include St James's Park, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.
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