The first modern history of St James’s Palace, shedding light on a remarkable building at the heart of the history of the British monarchy that remains by far the least known of the royal residences
In this first modern history of St James’s Palace, the authors shed new light on a remarkable building that, despite serving as the official residence of the British monarchy from 1698 to 1837, is by far the least known of the royal residences. The book explores the role of the palace as home to the heir to the throne before 1714, its impact on the development of London and the West end during the late Stuart period, and how, following the fire at the palace of Whitehall, St James’s became the principal seat of the British monarchy in 1698. The arrangement and display of the paintings and furnishings making up the Royal Collection at St James’s is chronicled as the book follows the fortunes of the palace through the Victorian and Edwardian periods up to the present day. Specially commissioned maps, phased plans, and digital reconstructions of the palace at key moments in its development accompany a rich array of historical drawings, watercolors, photographs, and plans. The book includes a foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Published in association with Royal Collection Trust
Simon Thurley is a leading historian of royal palaces and the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English court. Rufus Bird is a furniture specialist and former Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art, Royal Collection Trust. Michael Turner is an architectural historian and a former Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas for Historic England.
“Thurley and co chart this rollercoaster history with scholarship and flair, while Yale’s collaboration with the Royal Collections Trust means the inclusion of some delightful and unfamiliar illustrations. St James’s Palace, warns Thurley in his introduction, “is a mysterious and confusing place”. Not any more. With this book, the accidental palace takes its place with the best of them.”—Adrian Tinniswood, The Sunday Telegraph
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