Explore London’s royal history with entrance to the 17th-century Banqueting House, the only part of the grand Palace of Whitehall to survive a devastating fire in 1698. Walk in the foot-steps of Charles I who was executed on a scaffold outside following the English Civil War and admire the magnificent ceiling painting by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. Learn about the British royals and discover the story behind this fascinating Italianate building. Upgrade to include admission to London’s other royal palaces: the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace.
Make you own way to the Banqueting House, located near the Thames River and 10 Downing Street, where the British prime minister lives and works. This 17th-century building is the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, a vast royal complex that was burnt to the ground in 1698.Before you enter, pause outside the front of the building on the pavement. This is the spot where Charles I was beheaded on a brutally cold day in 1649, after being convicted of high treason. Head inside to learn more about Charles I and to explore the interior. Architect Inigo Jones designed the Italianate Renaissance-style building and took inspiration for the design from a recent trip to Italy, .Wander through the impressive banqueting hall, which would have been used as a venue for entertainment. Look out for a bronze bust of James I, which sits above the door in the banqueting hall. The bust was designed by Hubert Le Sueur, who also made the equestrian statue of Charles I in Charing Cross, near Trafalgar Square.Take some time to soak up Rubens' impressive canvases — exuberant masterpieces that adorn the ceiling of Banqueting House. Commissioned by Charles I, the paintings glorify his father, King James I.Spend as long as you want in the palace. Once you leave, make your own way back to your accommodation or continue sightseeing.