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Just What Is ‘St James’s Palace’?

St James’s Palace used to be the Monarch’s primary residence in London, but since it was last used as such by King William IV, with Queen Victoria moving into Buckingham Palace upon her accession in 1837. Since its fall from being the primary residence of the Monarchy, it has still remained an important part of the British Monarchy, both as the official residence of the Monarchy and as a pseudonym for members of the Royal Family’s offices.

St James’s Palace remains the centre of the Monarchy. Just a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace, the building commissioned by Henry VIII sits nicely on a corner largely away from the public eye. The building is now attached to the official residence of the Prince of Wales and a daily guard mounts at both St James’s Palace and Clarence House, for anyone wishing to see a changing the guard where there are significantly less people in the way.

The court which the British Monarchy currently works with is called ‘the Court of St James’. Foreign diplomats are accredited to the Court of St James, when a new Monarch accedes to the throne, the accession council assemble at St James’s and until not-so-long ago, Prince Charles used it as his official residence.

As well as the practical use of ‘the Court of St James’, it also has, as briefly mentioned a moment ago, the use as a pseudonym for offices of several members of the Royal Family, and the official residence of some others.

Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York, Princess Alexandra and is the official London residence of the Princess Royal. It also now acts as the base for the offices of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry since their staff began reporting directly to Princes William and Harry in 2009.

The Palace

The actual palace is well-furnished and has spacious apartments for its occupants. Take a look at the rare picture slideshow below of some parts inside St James’s Palace.


Prince William, Prince Harry and The Duchess of Cambridge all base their offices at St James’s Palace, even though all three of them now live at Kensington Palace. All letters sent from those three Royals come from St James’s Palace, though the address to send a letter to Prince William Kate or Harry remains Clarence House.

When official statements are issued, they’re issued ‘from St James’s Palace’. For example, the announcement that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant came from St James’s Palace.

Here are some pictures of things to do with the offices of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

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