|Behind the scenes|
St. James's Palace was a grand and elegant residence situated in Pall Mall, London. Commissioned by Henry VIII, it was one of the oldest castles in all of London. The palace was best known as the primary headquarters and residence of King George I, which would later be given to his son, George II, who would rule with an iron fist. St. James's Palace had a role during the quest for the Fountain of Youth, in which King George II and his advisors, including the newly reformed pirate Hector Barbossa, now a privateer in service to the Crown, would meet with Captain Jack Sparrow to recruit him to guide an expedition.
In the 16th century, the palace was commissioned by King Henry VIII, on the site of a former leper hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, from which the palace retained its name; the hospital was disbanded in 1532. The castle was constructed in a red-brick Tudor style around four courtyards, and lies adjacent to St. James's Park.
Reign of King George I
In his youth, George II was given London's Leicester House as his primary royal London residence, and was forbidden from returning to St. James's Palace by his father, King George I, due to the many clashes between them. Once his father was out of the way, George II was coronated as the new King of England and made St. James's Palace his primary residence in London.
Reign of King George II
Once taking the throne, King George Augustus would rule in the palace throughout the 18th century, and had many loyal subjects, such as Governor Weatherby Swann and Lord Cutler Beckett. He lived in his grand and elegant residence with his royal guards and advisors.
King George's palace also had an elegant dining room, which he spend most of his time in meeting guests of honor, who sat in a reserved, regal seat. The room had a high ceiling with a chandelier, tall drapes, high balcony, and one of the entrances also served as an enormous mural featuring King George II himself. In the middle of the room lied the royal banqueting table, which was always a feast for the eyes, where he would enjoy many foods, particularly creme puffs and jellies in the shape of peacocks.
Quest for the Fountain of Youth
During the quest for the Fountain of Youth, shortly after saving Joshamee Gibbs at the Old Bailey, Jack Sparrow had the coach driver take them out of Londontown. However, the coach had another destination in mind; St. James's Palace. By the time Jack and Gibbs realized this, the carriage had already pulled up at the palace courtyard, and the ever-alert Royal Guard had them safely in the sights of their primed muskets. While Gibbs was taken to the Tower of London, Jack was literally dragged into St. James's Palace by two guards. Through the wide and elegant main hall of the grand palace, Jack was taken to the royal banquet room. There, Jack was secured by being chained to the regal seat where he would await his forced audience with King George II.
While waiting for the King alone, a chained Jack Sparrow looked around the dining room. There was a high balcony, a glass window with tall drapes, and King George's enormous mural. Jack then turned his gaze towards the vast dining table, laden with food, in which he tried to grab a cream puff from the table with some difficulty in grabbing it. Right when the doors open, a startled Jack kicked the cream puff that he desired up into the air where it got stuck on the room's chandelier. A column of royal guards appeared along with a retinue of bewigged servants and advisors, including Lord John Carteret and Prime Minister Henry Pelham, as King George himself entered the room and sat on his personal throne.
The meeting began with much confusion on if Jack Sparrow was the "real" Jack Sparrow, as King George himself heard a rumor from his ministers regarding Jack recruiting a crew to undertake a voyage to the Fountain of Youth. After Jack made too much rattling with his chains within the room, an annoyed King George ordered Jack's chains to be removed. The King and his advisors then asked Jack if he had a map and if he could guide an expedition to the Fountain, because of the British's need to find it before the Spanish did and gained eternal life for their King. Although Jack realized his map was gone, he revealed that he knew the way to the Fountain well enough if they were to provide a ship and crew. Jack was then introduced to the peg-legged captain of the expedition: his old nemesis, Hector Barbossa.
At this point in the meeting, Jack and Barbossa had a brief reunion. Barbossa revealed to Jack that he was now a privateer under the authority of the Crown as well as telling Jack that he lost the Black Pearl in battle, which also costed him his leg. After angrily reacting to the loss of his beloved Pearl by climbing over the dining table, Jack was restrained by two of the King's guards before the pirate could do anything to Barbossa. King George then resumed the matter of Barbossa completing his mission before the Spanish succeeded. It was at that moment that Jack made one of his legendary escapes while surrounded by royal guards and a room full of shocked advisors.
With the help of a planned escape route, Jack was able make his escape. Jack took two guards out with their rifles, which he also used on the chandelier to make it swing. He jumped onto the banquet table and kicked food at another guard before running across it. Jack then jumped of the table and tossed one of the chairs through a window before grappling up onto the top of the sill, where he would jump onto the chandelier and swing across the room. Barbossa and the King's men stared at the seemingly impossible escape. Jack made it to the balcony, and grabbed the creme puff that was stuck on the chandelier and ate it as he left.
While the Royal Guards went after Jack, King George reacted to the pirate's escape, but Barbossa assured him that he'd have it taken care of. Making his way through the palace, Jack was able to recover his effects from a guard. Jack was able to escape the palace through the window, but ended up enduring a city-wide carriage chase.
Behind the scenes
- For the filming of On Stranger Tides, scenes on St. James's Palace were filmed in three locations. Re-creating both the exterior and interior of St. James Palace for On Stranger Tides required the seamless melding of footage shot at Hampton Court Palace for Captain Jack Sparrow's surprise arrest by the Royal Guard; then the interior of the Painted Hall as the pirate is literally dragged by soldiers to King George II's lavish dining room; followed by a built set-piece of St. James's exterior built at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The King's dining room, however, was in fact a set built on R Stage at Pinewood Studios, which was also where the Old Bailey courthouse scene was filmed.
- The index page of the On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide says that information on Henry VIII is found on the pages about St. James's Palace. For unknown reasons, there was not mentioned at all.
- For unknown reasons, in the official Disney Pirates website (as of February 2014) the description found in the "Jack's Escape" film clip had used the name "Buckingham Palace", rather than "St. James's Palace". It could simply be a mistake because of information provided in On Stranger Tides-related media, including the film's screenplay and presskit.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (First appearance)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (junior novelization)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide
- The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual Guide p.18-19 "St. James's Palace"
- ↑ The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- ↑ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides | Pinewood filming location
- ↑ Pirates 4 Press Kit
- ↑ Video | Pirates of the Caribbean - Disney