Built for Henry VIII between 1531 and 1536, St James’s Palace was a smaller, alternative residence to the Palace of Whitehall that was used by heirs to the throne. Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry FItzRoy, died at St James’s Palace in 1536. Edward VI lodged at the palace immediately after the death of his father in 1547 as it was seen as more secure than Whitehall. Mary I was a regular user of the palace, and signed the treaty surrendering Calais at St James’s, which is the palace in which she died in 1558. Elizabeth I also stayed regularly and was resident when England was under threat from the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Today, St James’s remains a “working palace”. It contains the London residence of HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Princess Royal and other members of the royal family and thus is not open to the public. However, its central location between The Mall and Pall Mall and its corner site abutting the street, make it possible to view its exterior Tudor architecture.
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