After the death of Charles I, Whitehall Palace remained practically deserted for several years. A commission had already been appointed by Parliament to dispose of the King's property and the splendid Stuart art collection was gradually broken up.
Cromwell in Whitehall
This was interrupted when Oliver Cromwell formally became the new Head of State as Lord Protector and took up residence at Whitehall in 1654.
The Banqueting House became the Lord Protector's hall of audience where he held his first reception for the ambassadors of the Estates-General in Holland.
There was probably little difference between Cromwell's receptions and those of the king on whose court etiquette they were based.