16 Facts About Whitehall


Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London.

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Consequently, the name "Whitehall" is used as a metonym for the British civil service and government, and as the geographic name for the surrounding area.

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Name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall that was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, before its destruction by fire in 1698; only the Banqueting House has survived.

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Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; the route to the south was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace.

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The Whitehall Theatre was formerly associated with a series of farces.

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Name Whitehall was used for several buildings in the Tudor period.

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The name Whitehall was originally only used for the section of road between Charing Cross and Holbein Gate; beyond this it was known as The Street as far as King Street Gate, then King Street thereafter.

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Whitehall married Anne Boleyn here in 1533, followed by Jane Seymour in 1536, and died at the palace in 1547.

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Whitehall itself was a wide street and had sufficient space for a scaffold to be erected for the King's execution at Banqueting House.

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The government wanted to be some distance from the monarch, and the buildings around Whitehall, physically separated from St James's Palace by St James's Park, seemed to be a good place for ministers to work.

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The name "Whitehall" is used as a metonym to refer to that part of the civil service which is involved in the government of the United Kingdom.

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Additional security measures have been put in place along Whitehall to protect government buildings, following a £25 million streetscape project undertaken by Westminster City Council.

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Whitehall Theatre opened in 1930 at the north west end of the street, on a site that had previously been Ye Old Ship Tavern in the 17th century.

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The revue Whitehall Follies opened in 1942, which drew controversy over its explicit content featuring the stripper and actress Phyllis Dixey.

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The theatre became known for its series of farces, reviving a tradition on Whitehall that had begun with court jesters at the palace during the 16th century; these included several plays featuring actor-manager Brian Rix throughout the 1950s and '60s, and 1981's satirical Anyone for Denis, written by John Wells and Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams.

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Whitehall is one of three purple squares on the British Monopoly board, along with Pall Mall and Northumberland Avenue.

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