St. James's Palace is one of the most senior royal palaces in the United Kingdom and is where King Charles III was proclaimed as monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Located in central London, St. James's Palace is a busy working palace for the royal family
- Many royals use it as their London base, including Princess Anne, who normally lives at Gatcombe Park.
- History was made at St. James's Palace when King Charles III was proclaimed as monarch on 10 September 2022, days after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II
In a historic televised ceremony, King Charles III was proclaimed King at St. James's Palace in London on 10 September 2022, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.
In a declaration made in the Throne Room of the palace during the monumental proceedings, King Charles said, "My lords, ladies and gentlemen, it is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved mother the Queen.
"I know how deeply you, the entire nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we've all suffered."
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"To all of us as a family as to this kingdom and the wider family of nations of which it is a part, my mother gave an example of lifelong love and selfless service.
"My mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life," King Charles added.
With St. James's Palace hosting one of the most remarkable royal moments in history just days ago, we look at the history behind the incredible royal building as well as who lives there.
A brief history of St. James's Palace - and what it is used for today
St. James's Palace, located in the city of Westminster, was built by Henry VIII in 1531 - making it even older than the monarch's official capital residence, Buckingham Palace. And although it's considered to be one of the most important palaces now, it only became regularly used by the monarchy in 1837, after Queen Victoria began to live there.
Now, the palace is a royal residence and functional office space. And it's one of the most important royal palaces, with Royal.uk (opens in new tab) noting that the offices of the Royal Collection Trust, the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, the Gentlemen at Arms, the Yeomen of the Guard and the Queen's Watermen are held there.
Important meetings are also held there. The Accession Council met there upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, as they have done and will do with the death of every monarch. Many royal christenings are also held there, in the Chapel Royal.
What is it like inside St. James's Palace?
St. James's Palace is certainly an impressive building - spanning many square feet, most of it is spread over four storeys.
Given that St James's is also a private home, there are certain areas that are kept private for the royal family. But official meetings are often held on the lower floors.
St James's is also home to the Chapel Royal, where numerous royal christenings have taken place over the years. Most recently, Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's youngest son, was christened there.
The Chapel Royal, located in the main block of the palace, has also played host to the christening of Prince George, and the recent baptism of Meghan Markle, just weeks before she married Prince Harry in May 2018.
Who lives at St. James's Palace?
St. James' Palace is the permanent home, and the London residence, of many senior members of the royal family.
Up until autumn 2017, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie shared an apartment in the palace. However, their former home certainly wasn't the size of an ordinary flat: most flats in St. James's Palace span four floors and have multiple bedrooms. It's understood that Beatrice and Eugenie's had four.
One senior royal who does still live at the palace is Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter. The Princess Royal uses the palace as her official London residence when she is in around the city for engagements.
When she isn't in London, Anne lives at Gatcombe Park, alongside her daughter Zara Tindall, and her husband Mike, who are parents to Mia, eight, Lena, four, and one-year-old Lucas.
In the past, St James's Palace has also been home to Princes William and Prince Harry, who lived with their father King Charles in York House - which is contained within the palace walls.
Can you visit St. James's Palace?
Sadly, visits to St. James's Palace are not open to the public. However, if you do want to catch a glimpse of the royal abode, you can easily walk past the palace on the streets of London and see it from the outside.
Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on womanandhome.com.
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