The palace was commissioned by Henry VIII, on the site of a former leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, from which the palace and its nearby park retain their names; the hospital was disbanded in 1532. The new palace, secondary in the king's interest to Henry's Whitehall Palace, was constructed between 1531 and 1536 in the red-brick Tudor style around four courtyards: its gatehouse (illustration) survives on the north side, flanked by polygonal turrets with mock battlements, fitted with Georgian sash windows.
Two of Henry VIII's children died there: Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset and Mary I (Mary's heart and bowels were buried in the palace's Chapel Royal). Elizabeth I was said to have spent the night there while waiting for the Spanish Armada to sail up the channel. Charles I slept rather less soundly—as it was his final bed before his execution. Oliver Cromwell then took it over, and turned it into barracks during the English Commonwealth period. It was then restored by Charles II (the son of Charles I), who also laid out St James's Park. It became the principal residence of the monarch in London in 1698, during the reign of William III and Mary II after Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire, and became the administrative centre of the monarchy, a role it retains.
The first three Georges used St James's Palace as their principal London residence even though it was far from grand for the city palace of a major European monarchy; Daniel Defoe called it "low and mean" in 1725. For most of the time of the personal union between Great Britain (later the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) and the Electorate of Hanover (later Kingdom of Hanover) from 1714 until 1837 the ministers of the German Chancery were working in two small rooms within St James's Palace. In 1757, George II donated the Palace library to the British Museum; this gift was the first part of what later became the Royal Collection.
In 1809, a fire destroyed part of the palace, including the monarch's private apartments at the south east corner. These apartments were not replaced, leaving the Queen's Chapel in isolation, and Marlborough Road now runs between the two buildings. George III had purchased Buckingham House – the predecessor to Buckingham Palace – for his queen back in 1762, and St James's continued to decline in importance in the first half of the 19th century. It increasingly came to be used only for formal occasions such as official receptions, royal marriages, and christenings. Queen Victoria formalised the move in 1837, ending St James's status as the primary residence of the monarch. It was nevertheless where Victoria married her husband, Prince Albert, in 1840, and where, eighteen years later, Victoria and Albert's eldest child, Princess Victoria, married her husband, Prince Frederick of Prussia. Some structures and interiors by Sir Christopher Wren and William Kent survive, but most were remodelled in the nineteenth century. William Morris and his firm were commissioned to redecorate the Armoury and the Tapestry Room, 1866–67.
On 12 June 1941, Representatives of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, and of the exiled governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia, as well as General de Gaulle of France, met and signed the Declaration of St James's Palace which was the first of six treaties signed that established the United Nations and compose the Charter of the United Nations.
Princess Diana's coffin was kept for a few days at the Chapel Royal at the Palace before being taken to Kensington Palace on the eve of her funeral at Westminster Abbey in September 1997. Only Close family members and friends wer allowed to pay respects o Diana while she was there, Since there were no camera's allowed in at that time to photograph Diana's laying in state. There was a Artist allowed inside to sketch this moment in history. So it is safe to say that Diana's Spirit was there as he fist grandchild was christened yesterday at the chapel. Perhaphs in some small way William once again wanted to include his mother in this important moment in his life.
Surprise Surprise another one of Diana's dresses has found it's way to ebay.
Princess Diana's ivory chiffon cocktail dress, worn to a Birthright benefit held at the London Palladium in May of 1987. Custom-made by the British designer, Zandra Rhodes, gown was from Rhodes' 1985 autumn/winter collection entitled ''India Revisited.'' Ivory-colored long-sleeve gown is designed in a ''button & bows'' pattern, with zig-zag bands to the hem on white silk chiffon, laid over its white silk jersey lining. Pleated bodice is studded with pearl beads and sequins, and waistband is made of quilted white satin over the draped skirt. Entire gown has pink crystals and pearl beads stitched to hemlines and edges, and finally, small pearl quatrefoils are applied to the rear closure all by hand. Incredibly intricate and ornate gown has a 36'' bust x 26'' waist. With provenance from Christie's. Near fine condition.
Earl Spencer and his third wife are celebrating their own special Olympic moment – the birth of their daughter, Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer.
The couple’s first child was born at Althorp, the Spencer family home, last Monday, weighing 8lb 14oz. She is the first Spencer baby to be born at the ancestral pile since 1793.
Earl Spencer, 47, pictured with the radiant Countess Spencer, 39, and their daughter, was present at the birth and tells me he is delighted to be a father for the seventh time.
He said: ‘She’s adorable – another feisty little Spencer girl. We hadn’t settled on a first name before the birth, but Charlotte is a name we both loved, and it really suits her. We knew that as soon as we saw her.
‘And, though it’s been 15 years since Diana died, I still miss her every day, and I very much wanted her commemorated in the naming of our daughter.’
The late Princess of Wales is buried in the grounds of Althorp where Earl Spencer married Karen Gordon in June last year.
Earl Spencer has six children from his previous two marriages while the Countess Spencer has two daughters from her marriage to film producer Mark Gordon.
Published: 30 March 2012 04:22 PM
”The Dianalogues” is the next offering of Idyllwild’s Isis Theatre Company’s First Friday's Readers Theatre series.
The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. April 6 at The Quiet Creek Gallery, 24300 North Circle Drive, next to the Rustic Theatre, according to a news release.
The play by Laurel Haines features monologues about women and how the late Diana, Princess of Wales, affected their lives.
The play stars Abbie Bosworth, Jeri Greene, Betty Anderson, Jeanette Knight and Suzanne Avalon.
Tickets are $12 and dinner theater packages are available for $45. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.isistheatrecompany.com. Space is limited and reservations are suggested.
There might be a scandal brewing.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived early this morning for the annual Cheltenham Festival's Ladies Day event. The Duchess, who is known for her great style, donned a teal coat, polkadot scarf and a brown hat trimmed with fur.
But what caught our eye the most was the piece of jewelry affixed to her lapel: a sparkly brooch in the style of a Prince of Wales's feathers pendant.
The problem? The late Princess Diana had one identical to it, which has some people speculating that Camilla has borrowed from Diana's jewelry box.
The Daily Mail alleges that the brooch, which has the Prince's three-feathered insignia and an emerald pendant suspended from the bottom, was previously worn by the late Princess Diana as a necklace. The piece was supposedly given to Princess Diana from Queen Elizabeth II upon her engagement to Prince Charles. The Mail says the pendant was given back to the Queen after Diana's death in 1997, and was then given to Camilla when she and Prince Charles married in 2005.
We can't say for sure that Camilla's brooch is the same one that belonged to Diana; it could very well be a sharply made copy.
It wouldn't be the first time a duchess wore a piece of Princess Diana's jewelry: Kate Middleton's sapphire engagement ring is the same ring Princess Diana wore in 1981 during her engagement.
But, more people would presumably take issue with Charles' second wife wearing what might be his first wife's jewels.