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9 things you won't believe about 116 Pall Mall

20 Oct 2017

Chandelier on balcony of 116 Pall Mall

The Prince of Wales, James Bond and a famous Christmas tree... 116 Pall Mall boasts a rich history that dates back almost 200 years. It is a unique venue that has been graced by royalty, heads of state and some of our greatest war heroes as well as stars of both stage and screen…

1. In 1820, the Prince of Wales vacated his London residence at Carlton House to prepare for his accession to the throne as George IV. Carlton House was demolished and the celebrated Regency architect John Nash was commissioned to create a new building on the site of the new king’s former home that would eventually become 116 Pall Mall.

2. The stunning large iron gates at the entrance to the Wine Bar, located in the basement at 116, served as the original doors to the Prince’s wine cellar.

3. When the new building opened in 1828 and became the home to the United Service Club - for the use of senior officers in the British Army and Royal Navy - George IV donated a 15ft Regency chandelier, which still hangs above the main staircase, to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.

4. The United Service Club purchased a number of significant works of art that remain on the premises to this day. In 1840 the USC acquired a marble bust of Lord Admiral Nelson for the princely sum of 100 guineas. In today’s money that would be equal to around £10,000. It is said to be the only bust of Nelson created from life and still resides at 116 on a plinth made from part of HMS Victory.

5. During World War II the exiled Norwegian monarch, King Haakon, regularly met and planned strategies with his officers in the Smoking Room (which is now the Carlton Room). In 1947, Haakon began the annual tradition of Norway, sending a Christmas tree that is displayed in Trafalgar Square from the beginning of December through to January 6 as a thank-you gift to the UK.

6. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was also a regular visitor in wartime while serving in the Naval Intelligence Division as Lieutenant Commander RNVR. It is said that he would regularly have lunch in the dining room.

7. 116 has been the location for a number of iconic films and TV dramas including Sir Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning epic, GandhiA scene depicting the Viceroy’s Office in India was filmed in the Nash Room. A scene from the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight was shot in Café Duke and the interior was featured in both the multi-award winning period drama Downton Abbey and the detective drama Foyle’s War. More recently, the building was featured in an episode of the Emmy award-winning comedy Parks and Recreation.

8. In 2004, Margaret Thatcher’s eulogy for Ronald Reagan was filmed here. The ties that bound the former Prime Minister and the 51st President of the United States dated back to the IoD’s Annual Convention in 1969 when Reagan was the keynote speaker. His speech resonated with Thatcher and provided the starting point for a unique political and philosophical alliance between the future leaders of the UK and the US.

9. Six years ago, 116 hosted bilateral trade talks between former Chancellor George Osborne and China’s vice premier, Wang Qishan and, in 2016, the Nash Room was the venue for a heated London mayoral debate between Zac Goldsmith and eventual winner Sadiq Khan.


Event space for hire at 116 Pall Mall

116 Pall Mall, a historic, Grade-1 listed Georgian masterpiece in the heart of London can be hired as a venue for any kind of event, from weddings to conferences, launch parties to fashion shows.

To find out more information, including arranging a personal tour of 116 Pall Mall, please get in touch with our team 020 7451 3107 or email functions@iod.com

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