Banqueting House, Whitehall
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17th century ornate building used for entertaining, designed by Inigo Jones, only remaining component of the Palace of Whitehall
The hall was built for the performance of ‘Masques’ and for grand ambassadorial receptions.
Masques were a sophisticated blend of poetry, propaganda, music, dance and outlandish costume, and the King and Queen sometimes took part. At the end of the performance it became a strange tradition for the audience to upset the table laid out with food and drink.
The room was where William of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart were read the Bill of Rights in February 1689, before jointly accepting the crown. In 1698 the rest of Whitehall palace burnt down but the Banqueting House survived.
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