St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, although no longer the principal residence of the monarch, it is the ceremonial meeting place of the Accession Council and the London residence of several minor members of the royal family.Plan to see St. James's Palace and other attractions that appeal to you using our London day trip planner.
Built by order of King Henry VIII in the 1530s on the site of a leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace was secondary in importance to the Palace of Whitehall for most Tudor and Stuart monarchs. The palace increased in importance during the reigns of the early Georgian monarchy, but was displaced by Buckingham Palace in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. After decades of being used increasingly for only formal occasions, the move was formalised by Queen Victoria in 1837. Today the palace houses a number of official offices, societies and collections, and all ambassadors and high commissioners to the United Kingdom are still accredited to the Court of St James's. The palace's Chapel Royal is still used for functions of the British royal family.
Mainly built between 1531 and 1536 in red-brick, the palace's architecture is primarily Tudor in style. A fire in 1809 destroyed parts of the structure, including the monarch's private apartments, which were never replaced. Some 17th-century interiors survive, but most were remodelled in the 19th century.
Tours To St. James's Palace
Changing of the Guard Guided Walking Tour in London BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $24
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Private Full Day London Walking Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $437
Duration: 5 hours
London In a Day: Tower of London, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $166
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
St. James's Palace Reviews
We were on a changing of the guards tour. Highly recommend booking this if you are taking visitors to London. Early start from Piccadilly circus and then walk down to St James Palace to wait for guards to come out. Less than usual as there was a rehearsal for Trooping of the Colour going on which we had the added bonus of being able to see part of it. Well worth doing this trip as you get to walk up to the palace alongside the guards
Stellar collection. You'd never know its size from the street. Jam-packed - plan on lots of time, especially if you know something about local history. One key place this museum could improve is in the lack of interpretive information. I got a lot out of it because I was there with a local friend who was extremely well-informed. But on your own, it's just a large collection of beautiful objects. Maybe a rental audio guide, more plaques, etc. Maybe even an identifiable docent on each floor? Really do take the time. You'll be happy
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