|Westminster Palace is, in fact, listed as one of the queen's seven residences, though she seldom, if ever, spends the night there.|
|At least everyone in London|
has the correct time.
When we think of a "palace" we naturally conjure up an ornate royal residence where a king and queen and their family reside, tended by dozens, of servants. We think of a lot of carved stone, rooms of massive size with gardens, courts, a throne room, long, spacious corridors, a chapel, enormous dining rooms, towers, and a whole host of other royal structures. By those standards, Westminster is, indeed, quite a palace...except for one thing. It's been around five-hundred years since any king or queen slept under its roof. Today, the only high official sleeping at Westminster Palace might be a bleary-eyed Member of Parliament who has dozed off in the midst of a particularly boring speech.
|The House of Commons once met for a time in the Painted Chamber (named for the murals on the walls).|
|For orientation purposes, the Thames River runs along the west front of the palace (top of diagram).|
|Sir Charles Barry|
|Westminster Palace before the 1834 fire--an architectural hodge-podge of old and new construction made still more unsightly by mismatch styles and aging materials.|
|The houses of the elected and the selected.|
|The new Westminster Palace with its iconic|
clock tower and bell, ca, 1859.
|Nearby Westminster Abbey, |
just across the street and round
the block from the palace.