23. ST. JAMES'S PARK.
Divine service is celebrated on Sunday at 10 a. m., 12 noon, and
5. 30p. m. A limited number of strangers are admitted to the two
latter services by tickets obtained from the Lord Chamberlain ; for
the service at 10 no ticket is required. — The marriage of Queen
A'ictoria with Prince Albert, and those of some of their daughters,
were celebrated in the Chapel Royal.
Down to the death of Prince Albert in 1861, the Queen's Levees
and Drawing Rooms were always held in St. James's Palace.
Since then , however, the drawing - rooms have taken place at
Buckingham Palace, but the levees are still held here. A levee
differs from a drawing-room in this respect, that, at the former, gen¬
tlemen only are presented to the sovereign, while at the latter it is
almost entirely ladies who are introduced. Richly dressed ladies;
gentlemen, magnificent in gold-laced uniforms; lackeys ingorgeous
liveries, knee-breeches, silk stockings, and powdered hair, and
bearing enormous bouquets; well-fed coachmen with carefully
curled wigs and three-cornered hats; splendid carriages and horses,
which dash along through the densely packed masses of spectators;
and a mounted band of the Life Guards, playing in front of the
palace ; •— such, so far as can be seen by the spectators who crowd
the adjoining streets, windows, and balconies, are the chief ingred¬
ients which constitute the magic ceremony of a 'Queen's Drawing
Room'. A notice of the drawing-room, with the names of the
ladies presented, appears next day in the newspapers.
In the life of a young English lady of the higher ranks her pre¬
sentation at Court is an epoch of no little importance, for as soon
as she has attended her first drawing-room, she is emancipated
from the dulness of domesticity and the thraldom of the schoolroom;
— she is, in fact, 'out', and now enters on the round of balls,
concerts, and other gaieties, which often play so large a part in
her future life.
On the W. side of St. James's Palace lies Clarence House, the
residence , since 1874, of the Duke of Edinburgh and his consort,
the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia. — Marlborough House, on the
E. side of the palace, see p. 200.
St. James's Park (PI. J 10, J 11, K 10, K 11), which lies to
the S. of St. James's Palace, was formerly a marshy meadow,
belonging to St. James's Hospital for Lepers. Henry VIII., on the
conversion of the hospital into a palace, caused the marsh to be
drained, surrounded with a wall, and transformed into a deer-park
and riding-path. Charles II. extended the park by 36 acres, and
had it laid out in pleasure-grounds by Le Notre, the celebrated
French landscape gardener. Its walks, etc., were all constructed
primly and neatly in straight lines, and the strip of water received
the appropriate name of 'the canal', an epithet still applied to it
by the common people. The present form of St. James's Park was
imparted to it in 1827-29, during the reign of George IV., by Nash.