On Sunday, September 5, 2014, the lucky participants in The Duke of Wellington Tour will take a walking tour (aka a leisurely stroll with many stops for refreshment) of part of London, principally through St. James’s. Victoria here, with a few facts and pictures.
St. James’s can mean a number of things in London, but generally it refers to a small neighborhood south of Mayfair and west of Whitehall and Trafalgar square, bounded by Piccadilly on the north, St James’s Park on the south, Green Park on the west and Haymarket on the east. St. James’s is a royal palace; a church on Piccadilly, designed by Sir Christopher Wren; a lovely park; an area known as clubland, and a street of distinguished shops.
The name comes from St. James’s Palace, so named because it was built on the site of a hospital for lepers dedicated to St. James the Less, one of the twelve Apostles. Here Henry VIII built the red brick structure which still serves as the official residence of the British monarch. Note that Ambassadors to Great Britain are officially designated as Ambassadors to the Court of St. James.
Official events are held here and the Chapel Royal is often the venue for royal weddings and baptisms, such as the christening of Prince George of Cambridge on October 13, 2013.
According to the Garden Visit website (click here), the original renaissance garden, shown above, compartments, were re-designed in the “gardenesque style.”
St. James’s has often been the venue for Royal levees and receptions . This plate below from the Microcosm of London, 1810, shows a “Drawing Room,” where a chosen circle could present themselves and their friends and family formally to the Royals.
On the Duke of Wellington Tour, we won’t be going inside, but we will see the Palace and its neighbors, The Queen’s Chapel, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Clarence House, the Mall, St. James’s Street, and more. Below are a few pictures I took on a previous visit to St. James’s.
For all the Details about The Duke of Wellington Tour, click here.