However, while St James’s Palace may have re-entered the news in recent weeks, this estate has maintained centuries of significance. It is known as ’the most senior palace in the United Kingdom’ – and one of the most potent royal residences in the country.  The Tudor structure, completed in 1536, has housed a host of royals over the centuries – including Anne, Princess Royal, who currently uses it as her London base. 

Does anyone live in St James palace?

St. James’ Palace is Princess Anne’s official London residence, which she frequents when she is in the British capital for engagements. When she isn’t in London, the Princess lives in Gatcombe Park, her country residence near the village of Minchinhampton in Gloucestershire, England.  Like St. James’ Palace, Gatcombe Park is one of the most regal estates in the United Kingdom (and one of the world’s best homes) – spanning over 730 acres of the South Western countryside.   Up until fall 2017, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie shared an apartment inside St. James’ Palace. Little is known about the apartment’s layout and decorating ideas – but it is believed that their apartment was four floors high and had four bedrooms.  The State Apartments also host around 100 receptions each year. Most events are for charities associated with members of the senior Royal Family.

Did Henry VIII live at St. James’s Palace?

Following its completion in 1536 (on the site of a leper hospital), St James’s Palace became Henry VIII’s favored residence during his marriage to Anne Boleyn. At this time, the Palace was secondary in importance (after the Palace of Whitehall) amongst many Tudor and Stuart monarchs. In more recent history, (in 1941) the United Kingdom met with representatives from 13 other nations to sign the Declaration of St James’s Palace. This was the first of six treaties that established the United Nations – and led to the composition of the Charter of the United Nations. Today, St James’s remains a working palace while acting as the London base for Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (a first cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II).

Can the public visit St. James palace?

Officially, St James’s Palace is not open to the public. However, you can visit the Chapel Royal (opens in new tab) and Queen’s Chapel on particular Sundays of the year by attending a church service. You can also visit other royal residences including Windsor Castle where the Prince and Princess of Wales will reside, and Kensington Palace – the former home of Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.