Host: Hazel Baker
Hazel is an active Londoner, a keen theatre-goer and qualified CIGA London tour guide.
She has won awards for tour guiding and is proud to be involved with some great organisations. She is a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors and am an honorary member of The Leaders Council.
Channel 5’s Walking Wartime Britain(Episode 3) and Yesterday Channel’s The Architecture the Railways Built (Series 3, Episode 7). Het Rampjaar 1672, Afl. 2: Vijand Engeland and Arte.fr Invitation au Voyage, À Chelsea, une femme qui trompe énormément.
Guest: Philip Scott
Philip moved to London from Lancashire, where he grew up, in 1981. He loves living in London and sharing his passion for and knowledge of this wonderful city’s rich history, culture and diversity.
After teaching politics, history and other humanities subjects in east London for 33 years; He transferred the skills he acquired as a teacher to become a qualified tour guide in 2019 (City of Westminster qualification).
He really enjoy guiding people around London, not only the main sights but also parts of central London that are off the main thoroughfares. His walks are delivered in an informative, friendly and accessible style. As well as the more obvious information, he likes to share little-known and slightly quirky nuggets.
Top 10 fascinating facts about St. James’s Palace:
1. Ancient Residence: St. James’s Palace is one of London’s oldest surviving palaces. It was originally built by Henry VIII in the early 16th century and has been a royal residence for over 500 years.
2. Not for Public Access: Unlike some other royal landmarks, St. James’s Palace is not open to the public. It serves primarily as a working palace for official royal duties and ceremonies.
3. Queen’s Official Residence: Although Buckingham Palace is the principal royal residence, St. James’s Palace is the official residence of the reigning monarch. It’s here that the Accession Council traditionally meets to proclaim the new monarch’s reign.
4. Private Chapel: The palace is home to the Chapel Royal, a beautiful and historic place of worship. It has seen many royal weddings, including that of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840.
5. Changing of the Guard: St. James’s Palace is a key location for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. The Old Guard assembles here before proceeding to Buckingham Palace, making it an integral part of this iconic London tradition.
6. Banqueting House: Within the palace complex stands Banqueting House, a magnificent example of Inigo Jones’ architectural prowess. It was used for lavish banquets and masques in the Stuart era.
7. Royal Births: Several royal births have taken place at St. James’s Palace, including those of Queen Anne and King James II.
8. Historic Court Ceremonies: The palace has witnessed countless historic events and ceremonies, including the investiture of the Order of the Bath and the reception of foreign ambassadors.
9. Queen’s Chapel: In addition to the Chapel Royal, there’s also the Queen’s Chapel, a stunning example of Palladian architecture. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is often open to the public for worship and special events.
10. Custody of the Crown Jewels: At various points in history, the Crown Jewels were stored at St. James’s Palace for safekeeping, adding to its significance in the royal regalia.