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Королевские дворцы

История Англии

St James's Palace


St James's Palace was built between 1532 and 1540 by Henry VIII on the site of the Hospital of St James, Westminster. For over 300 years it was a residence of kings and queens of England.

Queen Anne brought the court to St James's in 1702 after the disastrous fire which destroyed the Palace of Whitehall in 1698. It has remained the official residence of the Sovereign, although since the death of William IV in 1837 the Sovereign has lived at Buckingham Palace. Foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners are still formally accredited to the Court of St. James's for this reason.

It was in St James's Palace that Mary Tudor signed the treaty surrendering Calais. Elizabeth I was resident there during the campaign against the Spanish Armada and set out from St James's to address the troops assembled at Tilbury Camp. Charles I was confined to the Palace before his execution in January 1649.

There are two historic chapels in St James's Palace - the Chapel Royal and The Queen's Chapel. The conducting of services and the administration of the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace is the responsibility of the sub-Dean. This role was created in the 15th century and his responsibilities were to choose the music and anthems to be sung, authorise absences and prescribe penalties for minor offences that could be dealt with without recourse to the Dean.

In origin and still in principle, the Chapel Royal is not a building but an establishment; a body of priests and singers to serve the spiritual needs of the Sovereign. It was Henry VIII who constructed the present Chapel within St James's Palace.

The original Tudor Closet was a gallery on stilts, and it was here that Elizabeth I said her prayers for the defence of the Realm against the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, having chosen to remain at St James's Palace to receive messages of its progress by fire beacons from Cornwall. At the end of the Civil War, Charles I received the Sacrament of Holy Communion before crossing St James's Park to his execution in Whitehall in 1649. In 1997, the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales lay before the altar where her family and friends could pay their respects in private, before the Princess's funeral in Westminster Abbey.

Alterations to the building were carried out in 1836 with the addition of the side galleries and a new ceiling with William IV and Adelaide to match the 1540 ciphers. The panelling dates from this time, and the pews were installed in 1876.

The Chapel Royal has always been considered to be the cradle of English church music, and among its many noted organists and composers were Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Henry Purcell - the latter lived in a suite of apartments in St James's Palace. The poet Dryden, who was frequently in debt, used to take refuge with Purcell in his apartments in order to avoid the clutches of persistent creditors.

One of the Chapel's most notable organists and composers was George Frederick Handel, who was appointed by George II on 25 February 1723 as 'Composer of Musick of His Majesty's Chappel Royal', a title carefully constructed to allow Handel, still a German citizen, to contribute to the musical development of the Chapel Royal without actually being a member of it. Handel composed the great anthem 'Zadok the Priest' for the coronation of George II in 1727 and it has been used at every coronation since. It is also sung each year at the Royal Maundy service in which the Queen distributes Maundy money.

St. James's Palace is the senior Palace of the Sovereign, with a long history as a royal residence. As the home of several members of the Royal Family and their household offices, it is often in use for official functions and is not open to the public.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis.

The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. They are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection - paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.

Visits to Buckingham Palace can be combined with visits to The Queen's Gallery, which will reopen in the spring of 2002. The nearby Royal Mews is open throughout the year.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House in Norfolk has been the private home of four generations of Sovereigns since 1862. The Queen and other members of the Royal family regularly spend Christmas at Sandringham and make it their official base until February each year.

Like Balmoral, the Sandringham Estate is a commercial estate managed privately on The Queen's behalf. Sandringham House, the museum and the grounds are open to visitors.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace in London is a working Royal residence. Of great historical importance, Kensington Palace was the favourite residence of successive sovereigns until 1760. It was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. Today Kensington Palace accommodates the offices and private apartments of a number of members of the Royal Family. Although managed by Historic Royal Palaces, the Palace is furnished with items from the Royal Collection

Historic resedeces

Some of the most celebrated Royal residences used by former kings and queens can still be visited today.

The Tower of London, begun by William I, is a fascinating complex constructed over several centuries. It provided historic Royal families with a residence for more than five centuries, and was a prison for other Royal figures, including Lady Jane Grey. The Tower housed the Royal Mint until 1810. There were also armouries and workshops in which weapons were designed and manufactured; items including armour worn by Henry VIII remain there today. The Tower remains the storehouse of the Crown Jewels and regalia, as it has done for nearly 700 years. Today the Tower is under the management of the Historic Royal Palaces Trust.

Hampton Court Palace is also managed by Historic Royal Palaces. Given by Cardinal Wolsey to Henry VIII c.1526, the palace was a residence for figures including Mary I and Elizabeth I, Charles I, William III and Mary II, and retains many furnishings and objects from their times. It houses some important works of art and furnishings in the Royal Collection.

The Banqueting House in Whitehall is the only remaining part of London's old Palace of Whitehall. It was created by Inigo Jones for James I. Charles I commissioned Rubens to paint the vast ceiling panels, which celebrate kingship in general and the Stuart reign in particular. It was from the Banqueting House that Charles I stepped on to the scaffold on 30 January 1649. In 1689 the Prince and Princess of Orange went to the Banqueting House to accept the crown, becoming joint Sovereigns William III and Mary II. Today the Banqueting House is managed by Historic Royal Palaces.

Other historic Royal residences which can be visited include Osborne House, the beloved home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on the Isle of Wight, and the Brighton Pavilion, former residence of George IV when he was Prince Regent.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A royal palace and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Visitors can walk around the State Apartments, extensive suites of rooms at the heart of the working palace; for part of the year visitors can also see the Semi State rooms, which are some of the most splendid interiors in the castle. They are furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection including paintings by Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Lawrence, fine tapestries and porcelain, sculpture and armour.

Within the Castle complex there are many additional attractions. In the Drawings Gallery regular exhibitions of treasures from the Royal Library are mounted. Another popular feature is the Queen Mary's Dolls' House, a miniature mansion built to perfection. The fourteenth-century St. George's Chapel is the burial place of ten sovereigns, home of the Order of the Garter, and setting for many royal weddings. Nearby on the Windsor Estate is Frogmore House, an attractive country residence with strong associations to three queens - Queen Charlotte, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary.

Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is the private residence of The Queen. Beloved by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Balmoral Castle has remained a favourite residence for The Queen and her family during the summer holiday period in August and September. The Castle is located on the large Balmoral Estate, a working estate which aims to protect the environment while contributing to the local economy.

The Estate grounds, gardens and the Castle Ballroom are open to visitors from mid-April to the end of July each year, under the management of the Balmoral Estate Office.


Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is The Queen's official residence in Scotland. Situated at the end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is closely associated with Scotland's turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyroodhouse the premier royal residence in Scotland. Today, the Palace is the setting for State ceremonies and official entertaining.

Visitors can see the historic Royal Apartments used for these official functions. They are decorated with magnificent works of art from the Royal Collection. From 2002 the new Queen's Gallery, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, will host changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.

Прислал: admin  [19-07-2009 16:52:53]

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