St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom. It gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Although no longer the principal residence of the monarch, it is the ceremonial meeting place of the Accession Council, the office of the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, and the London residence of several minor members of the royal family.
Built by order of Henry VIII in the 1530s on the site of a leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, the palace was secondary in importance to the Palace of Whitehall for most Tudor and Stuart monarchs. The palace increased in importance during the reigns of the early Georgian monarchy, but was displaced by Buckingham Palace in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. After decades of being used increasingly for only formal occasions, the move was formalised by Queen Victoria in 1837. Today the palace houses a number of official offices, societies and collections, and all ambassadors and high commissioners to the United Kingdom are still accredited to the Court of St James's.