St James, Greater London

The Chapel Royal

Built largely between 1531 and 1536 by Henry VIII, much of the original red brick building erected by Henry VIII still survives today, including the Chapel Royal, the gatehouse, some turrets and two surviving Tudor rooms in the State apartments.

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At the heart of the palace complex is the Chapel Royal, built by Henry for his short lived marriage with Anne of Cleves in 1540. Mary I's heart is buried in the chapel.

St James Palace remains the official London royal palace and is not regularly open to visitors, but the public can attend Sunday services at the Chapel Royal and the Queen's Chapel.

This building has been used regularly since 1702 and is the most commonly used facility today. Located in the main block of St James's Palace, it was built circa 1540 and altered since, most notably by Sir Robert Smirke in 1837. The large window to the right of the palace gatehouse is in the north wall of this chapel which is laid out on a north south rather than the usual east-west axis. Its ceiling richly decorated with royal initials and coats of arms is said to have been painted by Holbein.

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