The glorious brick palace became a reputed one when Queen Anne moved to St. James after the Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire. Henry VIII chose to built the brick palace on the site of a former leper hospital specially for women. The original Tudor Palace was one of the grandest buildings of those times. It contained a Chapel Royal Gatehouse and some State apartments. The insignia of Henry is still situated at the gatehouse.
St. James palace is one of those in the pages of history where important events were played out. The palace witnessed the death of Henry VIII’s illicit son. It was in St. James that Mary Tudor signed the Treaty which surrendered Calais. Elizabeth I resided here for few days and the future Charles II and James II were both born in here. The marriage of Queen Victoria and Albert was held in this palace and Elizabeth II made her first speech in here. Much of the palace has been destroyed but the state rooms were restored by 1813. St. James is still a working palace but the realm has not lived here for quite some times. Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus Ogilvy along with Queen Mother were also housed in thus palace.