Palace people

Palace people

The Undercroft

Profiles, stories and little-known facts about some of England’s famous monarchs and characters associated with Banqueting House.

Characters and personalities


Explore the stories of some personalities who have been pivotal in the history of Banqueting House.

Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII 
Banqueting House stands on a site that was originally the property of the Archbishops of York, until Henry VIII stripped the Archbishop (Thomas Wolsey) of his assets in the late 1520s. 
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Charles I (r 1625-1649) 
Charles I commissioned the stupendous paintings by Peter Paul Rubens that still decorate the ceiling of Banqueting House. Banqueting House was also the place of Charles I's execution. 
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Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones was a revolutionary architect and designer. Jones designed the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace, and also created costumes and stages for the masques that took place there.
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Peter Paul Rubens
One of the most gifted and sought after artists of his day, Rubens was commissioned by King James I to paint the ceiling of the Banqueting House in Whitehall Palace.
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More stories and characters


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