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|Whitehall Palace (Banqueting House)|
Nearest Tube: Westminster
In 1529 Henry VIII (1509-47) chose Whitehall Palace as his main residence. It then remained the main royal residence until the monarchy was defeated during the Civil War.
Then, during the commonwealth Oliver Cromwell lived here in his role as Lord Protector. And once the monarchy was restored the palace again became the main royal residence.
It was James II (1685-88), whose asthma was aggravated by the pollution of the nearby River Thames, who decided to move out of the palace, choosing to live in Kensington Palace instead.
Then in 1698 Whitehall Palace burnt down. The only part of the palace to survive to today is the impressive Banqueting House. Built by Inigo Jones in 1622, it was inspired by the architecture of northern Italy. As a result this house is regarded by many as the first Renaissance building in Britain.
But Banqueting House is more famous for the fact that it was here that in January 1649, after the defeat of the monarchy in the Civil War, King Charles I was executed. Today you can see inside the house, admire the paintings of past monarchs, and watch a video about the history of the house.
The house is open daily except Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm. Admission costs around £3 for adults. Please note that as Banqueting House is sometimes used for state occasions, it is sometimes closed to the public.
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