St James's Palace and the Chapel Royal

The Chapel Royal is the private chapel at St James's Palace and where Diana's body has lain for the past week. The chapel is the main surviving part of a Tudor palace built by Henry VIII. Charles I received the Holy Sacrament here in 1649, before taking the short walk across the park, to his execution in Whitehall, and Queen Victoria married her beloved Albert, who became the Prince Consort, in the chapel in 1840. In 1988 Princess Beatrice, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York was christened here, an event that Diana attended.

St James's Palace

It was at Clarence House, in St James's Palace, that Diana waited before her wedding in 1981. Swathed in ivory silk the young Lady Diana set off for the journey to St Paul's and into the pages of history. Built by Henry VIII, the palace takes its name from a hospital for leper women that previously existed on the site. For more than 300 years the palace was one of the main royal residences, becoming the principal royal residence after the fire of 1698 destroyed Whitehall Palace. Queen Mary, Henry VIII's daughter died here, his other daughter Queen Elizabeth I held court here as did James I. George III was married at the palace in 1761 and so was his son George IV, just over thirty years later. After 1820, King George IV decided the state apartments were no longer grand enough and he built a new palace on the site of his parent's house that was named Buckingham Palace. St James's Palace continued to be a focal point for royal ceremony and it was here in 1952 that Elizabeth II made her first speech as Queen.