St. James’s Palace

Facts and information

Address:
St. James’s Palace, The Mall, St. James’s,
London SW1
England
Website:
www.royal.gov.uk
Opening times:
Closed to the public
Parking:
Find car parks near St. James’s Palace, or car parks in St. James’s
Minicabs:
Find minicab and taxi firms near St. James’s Palace
Buses:
3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 23, 88, 94, 139, 159, 453
How much is the bus fare?
Trains:
Green Park JUB PCL VIC, Piccadilly Circus BKL PCL, St. James’s Park CRC DSC
Note: The nearest train station to St. James’s Palace is Green Park
How much is the train fare?
Front entrance to St. James’s PalaceSt. James’s Palace St. James’s Palace in LondonSt. James’s Palace, London

St. James’s Palace was built by Henry VIII in the 1530s and was home to several famous sovereigns: Elizabeth I, Charles I and George I, II and III.

These days it plays host to lesser royals, and recently became a base for Prince Charles. (But he now lives at Clarence House, a few feet down the road.) Princess Diana resided here for a while until her divorce in 1996. She then shifted her stuff into Kensington Palace. The only major Royal to retain a room in the palace is Princess Anne.

History of St. James’s Palace

The area around St. James’s Park was once a medieval leper hospital. Henry VIII then bought it for a significant sum in 1531 and knocked it to the ground. The burial ground (where Green Park stands today) was drained and stocked with deer, and the resulting Palace has been much used ever since.

Mary Tudor actually died here, and Elizabeth I was said to have slept soundly whilst the Armada sailed up the Channel. Charles Ispent his final night sweating in the halls, before being led away for his execution. His nemesis, Oliver Cromwell, then turned it into a prison, before Charles’ son restored its fortunes – along with the monarchy’s.

St. James’s glory days can be dated to the early 18th-century when Whitehall Palace burnt down to the ground. It then took over as the chief residence of the entire Royal Family. Unfortunately another fire in 1809 then demolished everything but the main gate, and George III upped sticks to Buckingham Palace.

The palace was rebuilt soon after but never recovered its former glory, and Queen Victoria formalised the move in 1837.

So, whilst Buckingham Palace remains the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, St. James’s Palace retains the formal rooms for receptions, weddings and occasions of State. And even today, when foreign dignitaries arrive in London, they are still accredited to the Court of St. James.

 
 

Buy a London Pass  – and save money at London attractions

Save money – Get free or discounted entry into over 50 top attractions

Jump the queues – Get ‘Fast Track’ entry at lots of popular attractions

1-3 day Travelcard – Easy way to pay for London’s buses and trains

London Drum - London City Guide Search this site
 

Combo ticket

Save money with a combined ticket Cheaper entry into UK’s top attractions

Get a combo ticket

> Choose from the London Eye, SeaLife Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon and more

Oyster card

Get an Oyster card for cheap fares The cheapest way to travel around London

Buy an Oyster Card Buy a travelcard

> Save money Get the cheapest fares on the buses and trains

> Special offers Buy a ‘Visitor Oyster card’ for special discounts

London eBook

Have you seen our London ebook?

Read a free sample
Available to buy now

> Over 180 reviews
of London’s tourist attractions and events

> Over 850 pages
with 350+ photos and London street maps

> Sample itineraries
to help you get the most out of your time

Contact us | Privacy policy / Cookies
Copyright © 2015 London Drum. All rights reserved.