Royal London (Part 2)
„God save the King / Queen”
These words had been heard after every coronation of every English Monarch. Westminster Abbey has witnessed 38 of them. The gothic church in the City of Westminster, London (SW1P 3PA) can be considered the place that keeps most of the royal symbols in London. Since 1066, the abbey became the official church for the Royal family. Weddings, burials, funerals and mostly coronations – Westminster Abbey is the place that seen it all. Between 1042 and 1052, Edward the Confessor started to build a great Holy place, to serve him as an eternal resting place, restyling the St. Peter’s Abbey, as it was called before. The immediate successor of Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwineson, is believed to be the first king crowned in the Abbey, although there is no firm evidence to confirm this. Only after his defeat in front of William I, the Conqueror, the church became the preferred coronation place. The only monarchs that were not crowned at all were Edward V, one of the princes of the tower and Edward VIII, who abdicated.
The Tower of London, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, that lies on the north bank of the River Thames in Central London, is one of the few places in the UK that served as a Royal Residence and a prison. The Tower has also served as a treasury, an armory, the Royal Mint’s home, a menagerie, the settlement of United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels and a public records office. The fortress’s history is filled with mysteries and legends. It is said that Anne Boleyn’s ghost, a queen who was beheaded in 1536 for treason and infidelity against King Henry the VIII, still haunts the site. Also, the Tower is the place where Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York were seen last time, before their mysterious disappearance. The history calls them the “princes in the tower”. The legends say that they were murdered by their uncle, Richard III, the man who swore to be their Lord Protector. At the same time, he was the man who benefited the most from their disappearance.
St. James’s Palace became the official Royal Residence after the fire that destroyed the Palace of Whitehall in 1698. Even though its place was taken by the Buckingham Palace, it still remains the ceremonial residence of the Royal family and the official residence of some of its members. It is also the place of Accession Council’s meetings. The Palace was built by King Henry the VIII and is setting for some of the most important events in the Royal history, starting with the Tudor dynasty: Henry VIII’s illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy lived and died within the walls of the castle. Anne Boleyn and her daughter, the late queen Mary I, “Bloody Mary” also lived here. Anne’s initials can be found today on a few fireplaces throughout the palace. Another important event was the marriage of Queen Victoria with Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal in 1840.
247 Airport Transfer can offer you a tour of the famous Royal Places in London. The minimum price for hiring a car in Central London is 25 pounds per hour for a saloon car.