The Chapel Royal at Whitehall was destroyed by fire in 1698, after which the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall served as the chapel, until 1702, when Queen Anne decided to restore the Banqueting Hall to its secular purpose, repair and enlarge the chapel at St James, and create this latter the Chapel Royal, removing all the singing men and boys thence in 1703. The Banqueting Hall still remained as a chapel, and became a military chapel in 1808.
From time to time extra chapels were created to serve particular sects and nationalities, reflecting the beliefs and nationalities of members of the royal family. Thus, a catholic chapel was established at St James for Henrietta Maria, Charles I's queen (known as the Queen's Chapel), and this was restored by Charles II for his queen, Catherine of Braganza.
In 1689 it ceased to be used as a catholic chapel, and was in use by French and Dutch protestants in 1700. The French used it until 1781, when they exchanged with the German Lutheran congregation, who were using a room in the Great Court as a chapel. It was known as the German Chapel for the remainder of George III's reign. During this latter reign there was also a Dutch Chapel in existence.
The French and Dutch Chapels were destroyed in the fire of 1809, which consumed much of St James' Palace. At Whitehall a catholic chapel was established during James II's reign. It should be noted that the entries in the register in this series generally refer only to the "Chapel Royal", and therefore, presumably, imply the main chapel.
The baptisms include not only those of the royal family, but also servants of the household, such as the child of a housemaid, groom, laundress or table decker. Some entries give neither the title nor position of the parent. Not all the royal baptisms took place at St James, some were in palace rooms, often in Buckingham Palace, but sometimes Windsor Castle or Marlborough House. The date of birth as well as of baptism is given. In the earlier baptisms the confessor to the Household signs at the bottom of the page. With the baptisms are notes of the royal family's attendance at divine service, their confirmations and their churching of women.
The marriages appear at the other end of the same volume, and are generally those performed at St James, but include marriages at Windsor, in several German states, and elsewhere. They include the monarch's consent to the marriage, under the Act designed to ensure better regulation of royal marriages (12 Geo III, c 11), after which the monarch's consent was needed for a royal wedding to take place. The entries contain the signatures of the witnesses, as well as of the persons married. Unlike the baptisms, the marriages do not include household servants, but do include some commoners of high rank. The licences to marry which are to be found here are usually for marriages other than at St James, and are often to take place at Windsor.