St. James Palace was the residence of Kings and Queens of England for over 300 years, until Queen Victoria’s reign. The palace itself, built between 1531-1536 by Henry VIII, is no longer used as the reigning sovereign’s home, but contains apartments that have housed members of the Royal Family. Some of the former residents include Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry, Princess Alexandra, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. It is also used to host charity events for those in which the Royal Family are involved and family events. The Tudor style gatehouse faces St. James Street.Resting atop the gatehouse is a bell tower, only partially visible behind the parapet holding the clock. The “bell of the great clock” was cast 1731 and inscribed with the name of Clay (Walford, 1878). The gatehouse was repaired in 1831 and the clock was removed. It was replaced following the addition of a minute hand (originally only held the hour hand) and new dials were added. At the 9 o’clock position, the design represents King William IV, a crown symbol at 12 o’clock, and 1832, year of replacement, at 6 o’clock. I find no information about the meaning of the R at 3 o’clock position.
Who might have been one of the Royal Family engaged in some charitable event or family lunch that day?