An age old tradition that Londoners are truly acquainted with is the ceremony of Change of Guard. If you are flying to London, you cannot afford to miss the ceremonious handover that is always accompanied by music of the Guards band. The music played is surely from the traditional military marches. However, you will be delighted to listen to the songs from musical shows and even pop songs too.
London harbours a large bunch of royal palaces but St. James Palace is the most unsung place of the lot. This lesser known palace is situated on a side street, Mayfair and St. James. The palace has survived the wrath of times and still has Tudor architecture and gatehouse breathing inside it.
St James Palace
Would you not like to be at a palace and watch its age old tradition with our own eyes, once you are on your trip to London? St. James Palace is the construction of Henry VIII who steered its foundation in 1531 and was completed a few years later. Guard mounting or Changing of Guard is the most resplendent part about the Palace that has enchanted tourists from all over the world is its fine gatehouse.
Once you are at the Gatehouse you would notice that the gatehouse still adorns the palace in its grandeur. It is etched with initials “H.A.” to mark the ceremony when Henry and his wife Anne Boleyn got hitched. The clock hung on the gatehouse is also the construction installed in 1731. The entire palace is a red brick work which was at the time paid for through the nose but today it is a trivial material of construction.
The palace has known to be a sad witness of the demise of Henry Fitzroy who was the first Duke of Richmond and Somerset and was Henry’s illegitimate son. Queen Mary’s heart is also said to have been interred in this palace. Later this palace became the birth place of a number of monarchs such as Queen Mary II, King Charles II, Queen Anne, and King James II. It is in this palace that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert tied the knot in 1840. Queen Victoria was the last monarch to dwell in this humble abode during her reigning years. Tourists of hotels such as Park Grand London Hyde park, are just 10 minutes away from this awe-inspiring palace of London.
Presently the Queen does not reside here and the Palace has become a house of Court of Queen Elizabeth II. This means that it is a place rife with business surrounding the Monarch and remains busy. The palace is now used for meeting the royal clique of guests and also has offices of Yeomen of the Guard and the Queen’s Watermen. St. James Palace is also the place where Accession Council bunches up for a meeting post death of a monarch. After the meeting the accession of the new monarch is announced to the public.