Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognised as the centre of the Government of the United Kingdom and is lined with numerous departments and ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards and the Cabinet Office. Consequently, the name 'Whitehall' is used as a metonym for the British civil service and government, and as the geographic name for the surrounding area.
The name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall that was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, before its destruction by fire in 1698; only the Banqueting House has survived. Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; the route to the south was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace.
As well as government buildings, the street is known for its memorial statues and monuments, including the UK's primary war memorial, the Cenotaph. South of the Cenotaph the thoroughfare becomes Parliament Street.