Marlborough House
This article is about Marlborough House, Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

. For the property in Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, please see Marlborough House, Brighton
Marlborough House, Brighton
Marlborough House is a mansion in Brighton on the south coast of England. It is a Grade I listed building. Located at 54 Old Steine, it was built as a red brick building circa 1765 for Samuel Shergold, a local hotelier...

Marlborough House is a mansion in Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, in Pall Mall
Pall Mall, London
Pall Mall is a street in the City of Westminster, London, and parallel to The Mall, from St. James's Street across Waterloo Place to the Haymarket; while Pall Mall East continues into Trafalgar Square. The street is a major thoroughfare in the St James's area of London, and a section of the...

 just east of St James's Palace. It was built for Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill , Duchess of Marlborough rose to be one of the most influential women in British history as a result of her close friendship with Queen Anne of Great Britain.Sarah's friendship and influence with Princess Anne was widely known, and leading public figures...

, the favourite
A favourite , or favorite , was the intimate companion of a ruler or other important person. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, among other times and places, the term is used of individuals delegated significant political power by a ruler...

 and confidante of Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

. The Duchess wanted her new house to be "strong, plain and convenient and good". Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

, both father and son, designed a brick building with rusticated stone quoins that was completed in 1711. For over a century it served as the London residence of the Dukes of Marlborough.

The house was taken up by the Crown in 1817. In the 1820s plans were drawn up to demolish Marlborough House and replace it with a terrace of similar dimensions to the two in Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace refers to a street in the St. James's district of the City of Westminster in London, England, and in particular to two terraces of white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James's Park. These terraces were built in 1827–32 to overall designs by...

, and this idea even featured on some contemporary maps, including Christopher and John Greenwood
Christopher Greenwood (cartographer)
Christopher and John Greenwood were brother cartographers who produced large-scale maps of England and Wales in the 1820s.Their partnership began in 1821, using the imprint "C.&J.Greenwood"....

's large-scale London map of 1830, but the proposal was not implemented. The house was used by members of the Royal Family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

 and from 1853 to 1861 Prince Albert
Prince Albert
Prince Albert was the husband and consort of Queen Victoria.Prince Albert may also refer to:-Royalty:*Prince Albert Edward or Edward VII of the United Kingdom , son of Albert and Victoria...

 arranged for it to be used by the "National Art Training School", later the Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

. After they vacated it was substantially enlarged for the Prince of Wales to designs by Sir James Pennethorne
James Pennethorne
Sir James Pennethorne was a notable 19th century English architect and planner, particularly associated with buildings and parks in central London.-Life:...

 (1861–63), who added a range of rooms on the north side and a deep porch. From 1863 until he became King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 in 1901, it was the home of the Prince and Princess of Wales. During this period Marlborough House became the social centre of London. In 1936 Marlborough House became the London residence of the queen dowager
Queen Dowager
A queen dowager or dowager queen is a title or status generally held by the widow of a deceased king. In the case of the widow of a deceased emperor, the title of empress dowager is used...

, Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

, widow of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

. Following Queen Mary's death in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 donated it for use by the Commonwealth Secretariat
Commonwealth Secretariat
The Commonwealth Secretariat is the main intergovernmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is responsible for facilitating cooperation between members; organising meetings, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings ; assisting and advising on policy...

, which continues to use it today.

The nearly cubical Saloon retains wall-paintings by Louis Laguerre
Louis Laguerre
Louis Laguerre , was a French decorative painter mainly working in England.Born in Versailles in 1663 and trained at the Paris Academy under Charles Le Brun, he came to England in 1683, where he first worked with Antonio Verrio, and then on his own...

 of the battle of Blenheim
Battle of Blenheim
The Battle of Blenheim , fought on 13 August 1704, was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. Louis XIV of France sought to knock Emperor Leopold out of the war by seizing Vienna, the Habsburg capital, and gain a favourable peace settlement...

. A cupola inserted in the ceiling is surrounded by paintings by Orazio Gentileschi
Orazio Gentileschi
Orazio Lomi Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, one of more important painters influenced by Caravaggio...

 for the Queen's House, Greenwich, 1636. There are paired staircases flanking the Saloon, with further battle pieces by Laguerre. Most of the interiors have been altered. A late Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

-Gothic memorial fountain by Alfred Gilbert
Alfred Gilbert
Sir Alfred Gilbert was an English sculptor and goldsmith who enthusiastically experimented with metallurgical innovations...

 (1926–32) in the Marlborough Road wall of the house commemorates Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

, Edward's queen.

Marlborough House is usually open to the public for Open House Weekend each September. The house is also open for group tours on Tuesdays by prior arrangement.

The house is Grade I listed.

External links

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