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It is one of the most senior royal palaces in the United Kingdom. Still, St James’s Palace often gets overlooked next to Buckingham Palace. With up to 100 receptions hosted each year by the Royal Family, this location is anything but boring. Learn more about St James’s Palace, here.

When was St James’s Palace built?

Predominately built between 1531 and 1536 by Henry VIII, (yes, the Henry VIII with all the wives,) St James’s Palace is one of the oldest functioning palaces for the British royal family. It is also considered the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. Following Henry VIII, future royals including Charles II and James II, were born and baptized at St James’s. It is still in use today, primarily for charitable events.

There is no estimate regarding the worth of this palace, but it is presumed to be on the lower end of royal buildings. St James’s is not on Love Money’s list of “how much the world’s most valuable palaces are worth.” Allegedly, other palace’s owned by the royal family, like Buckingham Palace, are worth over $5 billion.

According to Daily Mail, in 2015, the British Monarchy began renting out flats in St James’s Palace for the first time in history with £250,000 annual rent, payable to the Queen. Even Princess Beatrice and Eugenie paid rent to live in the St James’s Palace.

St James's Palace
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge | DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The christening of Prince Louis took place at St James’s Palace

Although it is not currently used as a residential palace by William, Kate, Harry, or Meghan, St James’s Palace holds many charity events and formal functions for members of the royal family. That includes the christening of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s child, Prince Louis of Cambridge.

According to Royal Residences, “the offices of Royal Collection Trust, the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Chapel Royal, the Gentlemen at Arms, the Yeomen of the Guard, and the Queen’s Watermen are all located at St. James’s Palace.”

Other events held in the palace include “Pitch at The Palace,” which was a business event. Additionally, the Royal Family hosted The 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference at St James’s Palace, which brought together “heads of state, ministers and officials from nearly 80 countries, alongside NGOs, academics and businesses, to build on previous efforts to tackle this lucrative criminal trade. “

Who lives in St James’s Palace?

Queen Elizabeth II does not currently live in St James’s Palace. However, some members of the Royal Family lived in the complex. That includes Prince Charles and Camilla, who live in Clarence House, an attached section to the Palace.

According to Free Tours By Foot, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall currently live on these grounds. The Palace is not technically open to the public. Still, tourists can “visit the Chapel Royal and Queen’s Chapel at certain times throughout the year by attending a Sunday church service.”

Additionally, without entering the grounds, visitors can catch glimpses of the City of Westminster Palace. Tourists and visitors can watch the Band of the Grenadier Guards at St James’s Palace.