Buckingham PalaceSt James’s is an exclusive area in the West End of London.
is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch.
Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was subsequently acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, and known as The Queen's House
. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard.
finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds outside. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II; the Queen's Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
The original early 19th-century interior designs, many of which still survive, included widespread use of brightly coloured scagliola and blue and pink lapis, on the advice of Sir Charles Long. King Edward VII oversaw a partial redecoration in a Belle Époque cream and gold colour scheme. Many smaller reception rooms are furnished in the Chinese regency style with furniture and fittings brought from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and from Carlton House. The Buckingham Palace
Garden is the largest private garden in London.
The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September, as part of the Palace's Summer Opening.
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Buckingham Palace - the principal façade, the East Front; originally constructed by Edward Blore and completed in 1850. It acquired its present appearance following a remodelling, in 1913, by Sir Aston Webb.
St James’s was once part of the same royal park as Green Park and St James’s Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, who proceeded to develop it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area with a grid of streets centered on St James’s Square. Until the Second World War, St James’s remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Famous residences in St James’s include St James’s Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House and Bridgewater House.
St James’s is the home of many of the best known gentlemen’s clubs in London. The clubs found here are organisations of English high society. A variety of groups congregate here, such as royals, military officers, motoring enthusiasts, and other groups.
It is now a predominantly commercial area with some of the highest rents in London and, consequently, the world. The auction house Christie’s is based in King Street
, and the surrounding streets contain a great many upmarket art and antique dealers.
Office space to rent in St James’s is the most expensive in the world, costing up to five times average rents in New York, Paris and Sydney.
The area is home to fine wine merchants including Berry Brothers and Rudd, at number 3 St James’s Street. Adjoining St James’s Street is Jermyn Street
, famous for its many tailors. St James’s is home to some of the most famous cigar retailers in London. At 35 St James’s Street is Davidoff of London, 19 St James’s Street is home to J.J. Fox and 50 Jermyn St has Dunhill; this makes the area a Cuban cigar haven.
The iconic English shoemaker Wildsmith which designed the first ever loafer was located at 41 Duke Street
, St, James’s. It is now currently located at 13 Savile Row
The area has a good number of art galleries, covering a spectrum of tastes. The White Cube gallery, which represents Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, had originally opened in Duke Street
, St James’s, then moved to Hoxton Square. In September 2006, it opened a second gallery in St James’s at 25–26 Mason’s Yard, off Duke Street
, on a plot previously occupied by an electricity sub-station. The gallery is the first free-standing building to be built in the St James’s area for more than 30 years.