Of all the current Royal Palaces, St James’s is the most senior and all foreign ambassadors to this country are still referred to as being appointed to the Court of St James’. This is perhaps ironic, as the palace was constructed in the 1530’s by King Henry VIII, as somewhere to escape from the rigid court life of the Palace of Whitehall. It was built on the site of a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less from which it takes its name. The palace was popular in between the Tudor and Georgian times until Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace in 1837, it is home to several royal organisations such as the Royal Collections Trust, as well as some of members of the Royal Family.
As it has been suggested that Princess Beatrice is set to move of the Palace, let’s look at those who reside here …
The Princess Royal
Princess Anne was born at the neighbouring Clarence House in 1950 and being one of the busiest members of the Royal Family uses rooms at St James’s Palace as a London residence rather than travel from her family home at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire. This is very handy for someone who is patron of many charities within the London area, and President of the City and Guilds of London Institute and University of London and was on the planning committee of the 2012 London Olympics.
Princess Beatrice, is the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York and not only does she currently live in the Palace but was baptised in the Palace in the Chapel Royal in the Palace in December 1988. She has accompanied both her grandmother, The Queen, and Prince Andrew on various Royal events. As revealed in Royal Central, it is understood that both Princess Beatrice and her younger sister Princess Eugenie will both move out of the Palace in the Autumn.
Princess Eugenie is the younger sister of Princess Beatrice and they have both been sharing the apartment, with the rent being paid either by themselves of Prince Andrew. However, in November she is marrying Jack Brooksbank and we must assume they are not planning to live at the Palace after that time.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Princess Alexandria is the Queen’s cousin, she is the daughter of Prince George, Duke of Kent the younger brother of King George VI. She has completed many duties on behalf of the Queen and despite having to curtail them through arthritis, she is still listed on the website of the British Monarchy as being a working member of the Royal Family and is patron of many organisations including English National Opera and the London Philharmonic Choir. In addition to her grace and favour apartment at the Palace she also has lives in Thatched House Lodge in Richmond.
These Royals also have near neighbours in the Royal family, with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall living nearby in Clarence House.