After Elisabeth I died in 1603 the English crown was passed on to the descendant of Henry Tudor on his mother's side, the king of Scots James I. Banqueting House in London is a reminiscence from these times. The tradition of lighting bonfires on November 5, the Guy Fawkes night, can also be traced back to this period, as Guy Fawkes was the one to make a failed attempt to assassinate the king in 1605 (the Gunpowder Plot). James I was the first in line of the house of Stewart, that ruled England for over a hundred years marked with civil wars, dissolution of Parliament, execution of King Charles I, establishment of the republic and the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell.
In 1660 the son of Charles I, Charles II, returned to London, but a terrible plague of 1665 and the devastating Great Fire of London in 1666 turned the new king into a scapegoat for all the troubles. Four fifths of the city were burned, and almost all Medieval structures of the Golden Age of Tudors perished in flames. The City lay in ruins. Only St. James Palace, the last residence of Charles I prior to his execution, and the Guildhall, a secular building dating back to 1411, miraculously survived. Only the genius of the Sir Christopher Wren, an engineer and architect, had been capable of recreating the London we all see today. He helped to restore St. Paul's Cathedral and other 51 churches across the city, and his architectural style had become synonymous with elegance in the city for the following two centuries.
During the reign of Charles II, Downing Street was laid in place of an old brewery in Westminster Abbey, deriving its name from the lodger in this alley, Member of Parliament Sir George Downing. All houses on the street have been preserved, including the most famous в„–10, the residence of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The rise to power of King James II, a Catholic, after Charles II's death in 1685 lead to uprisings in the city. Parliament offered the king to leave the country and summoned James II's son-in-law, Willem III of Oranje and the ruler of the Netherlands, to wear the English crown. In 1688 Willem, along with his wife Mary, began their English rule under the names of William III and Mary II. Their rule is marked by the passing of the Bill of Rights, one of the most significant constitutional documents in English history.
Around the time, a small cafe was opened in the city by Edward Lloyd, mainly to facilitate transactions and deals between sea captains and ship owners. This small cafe gradually turned into a bank, famous and functioning to this day. Sir Christopher Wren had also redone the ancient Tudor Hampton Court Palace for William and Mary, adding gardens and labyrinths to it. The royal couple had also purchased Nottingham Palace in Kensington, which was turned into Kensington Palace in 1689 by Wren.
An unfortunate accident occurred in 1702, when William III fell down from his horse and died from the injuries. The crown passed on to his wife's sister Anne, during whose reign England allied with Scotland and in 1707 became to be known as the Kingdom of Great Britain. Queen Anne was famous for her generosity towards her friends and allies, who built luxurious palaces on land granted them by the queen. This is how Buckingham Palace (1708) and Marlboro Palace (1711) came to be.
The article by Irina Sukharnikova, translation by Ekaterina Ryabova; specially for Sweet Home Abroad