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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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View the 2024 general election results.

The Palace's structure

The history of the present-day Palace of Westminster is a journey which begins with its reconstruction by the architect Charles Barry after the Great Fire of 1834, through various ravages of the 20th century such as the Second World War, to the magnificent building as we know it today.

Great Fire

One of the biggest threats to the Palace of Westminster over the centuries has been fire. Read more about the Great Fire of 1834, which destroyed almost the entire Palace

Rebuilding Palace

How the Palace of Westminster was rebuilt after being devastated by the Great Fire of 1834

The Architects

Find out about the men responsible for the Palace'€™s stunning Gothic architecture

New Gothic Vision

Why was the design for the new Palace unique? And how did the new Palace affect the imagination of the Victorian public?

The Stonework

Pollution has continuously threatened the Palace€™s distinctive stone faade. Read more about how the Palace has been carefully preserved and maintained over the past century

Victoria Tower
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The Victoria Tower was once the tallest and largest square building in the world. Find out about this spectacular tower which crowns the Palace of Westminster

Towers Of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster includes a number of distinctive towers. Read more about them, and why they were constructed

Bomb Damage

Learn about the wartime Parliament and the temporary homes of the Lords and Commons during those years


How was the Commons rebuilt after its destruction by incendiary bombs in 1941?

Also within Living Heritage

Read about the history of the Palace of Westminster before 1834

Westminster Hall is the oldest building in Parliament and virtually the only part of the ancient Palace of Westminster which survives in almost its original form. Find out more about its long history

Key Dates, 1834 to the Present Day: Need a quick overview? Find out about the events that shaped the development of the Palace of Westminster.

Art in Parliament

View images from the Parliamentary Art Collection of the present Palace of Westminster.