Queen's Chapel

The Queen's Chapel (officially, The Queen's Chapel St. James Palace) is a chapel in central London, England, that was designed by Inigo Jones and built between 1623 and 1625 as an external adjunct to St. James's Palace for the Roman Catholic queen Henrietta Maria. It is one of the facilities of the British monarch's personal religious establishment, the Chapel Royal, but should not be confused with the 1540 building also known as, Chapel Royal, which is within the palace and just across Marlborough Road. It is a Grade I listed building.[1]

Queen's Chapel
Queen's Chapel St James's Palace Inigo Jones.jpg
Marlborough Road front
Queen's Chapel is located in Greater London
Queen's Chapel
Queen's Chapel
51°30′18″N 0°08′13″W / 51.50500°N 0.13694°W / 51.50500; -0.13694Coordinates: 51°30′18″N 0°08′13″W / 51.50500°N 0.13694°W / 51.50500; -0.13694
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
Previous denominationRoman Catholic
Architect(s)Inigo Jones
Years built1623–1625


The Queen's Chapel was built as a Roman Catholic chapel at a time when the construction of churches for that denomination was otherwise prohibited in England, and was used by Charles I's French queen Henrietta Maria, who imported chapel furnishings from France.[2] During the English Civil War it was used as a stable.[2] It was refurbished in 1662,[3] and again in the 1680s by Christopher Wren. From the 1690s the chapel was used by the Continental Protestant courtiers of William and Mary. It became a Chapel Royal again in 1938.[4]

The chapel was built as an integral part of St James's Palace, but when the adjacent private apartments of the monarch burned down in 1809 they were not replaced, and in 1856–57 Marlborough Road was laid out between the palace and the Queen's Chapel. The result is that physically the chapel now appears to be more part of the Marlborough House complex than of St James's Palace.[4]

The body of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, lay at the Queen's Chapel for several days in 2002, during the preparations for her lying-in-state in Westminster Hall before her ceremonial funeral.[5][3]


The brick building is rendered to appear as if it were stone built.[1] It was built in a Palladian style.[6] It has gable ends with pediments. The interior vault is gilded and painted.[1]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Queen's Chapel". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Harris, Carolyn. "The Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace from King Henry VIII to Prince George of Cambridge". Royal Historian. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b Timms, Elizabeth Jane. "The Queen's Chapel, St James's". Royal Central. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Bradley, Simon (2001), "The Queen's Chapel in the Twentieth Century", Architectural History, 44: 293–302, doi:10.2307/1568758, JSTOR 1568758
  5. ^ "Gun salutes honour Queen Mother". The Guardian. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "The Queen's Chapel (St James's Palace)". Open House London. Retrieved 15 March 2020.

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