Norfolk House

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Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°8′2″W / 51.50722°N 0.13389°W / 51.50722; -0.13389

The Music Room from Norfolk House, St James's Square, London, 1748-1756 V&A Museum no. W.70:1-1938
Norfolk House is on the far right on this mid-18th-century engraving.
The location of Norfolk House is shown on this 1799 map.
Plaque says: Norfolk House in this building 24 June 1942 - 8 November 1942 General of the army Dwight D Eisenhower Supreme Allied Commander formed the first Allied Force Headquarters and in conjunction with the commanders of the fighting services of the Allied Nations and the Authorities in Washington and London planned and launched Operation "Torch" for the liberation of North Africa and later 16 January 1944 - 6 June 1944 as Supreme Allied Commander Allied Expeditionary Force in conjunction with the commanders of the fighting services of the Allied Nations and the authorities in Washington and London he planned and launched Operation "Overlord" for the liberation of North West Europe.
Plaque says: The United States of America recognizes the selfless service and manifold contributions of General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, 1944 - 1945. At this site, General Eisenhower, on behalf of Freedom loving peoples throughout the World, directed the Allied Expeditionary Forces against Fortress Europe, 6 June 1944. This Plaque was dedicated by a United States Department of Defense delegation and the Eisenhower family on 4 June 1990 during the Centennial year of his birth and the 46th Anniversary of Operation Overlord.

Norfolk House, at 31 St James's Square, London, was built in 1722 for the Duke of Norfolk. It was a royal residence for a short time only, when Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of King George III, lived there 1737-1741, after his marriage in 1736 to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, daughter of Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha. King George III was born in the house, which was offered to the royal couple by the 9th Duke of Norfolk.

The family moved to Leicester House in 1742, and it was to remain the prince’s home until his death nine years later, and that of his widow until her death in 1764.

The original Norfolk House remained in the ownership of the Dukes of Norfolk until 1938 when it was pulled down, and the site became an office building. During the Second World War this building served as offices for senior officers from a variety of Allied armed forces, including the Canadian 1st Army and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force under General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Two plaques on the exterior of the building acknowledge the role of the building in the War. Today the 1930s building on the site is occupied by offices, the interior having been fully refitted in recent years.

Parts of the interior of the eighteenth-century house were removed before demolition and still survive, including the Music Room, designed by Giovanni Battista Borra for the ninth Duke's wife Mary. After having been in storage, the room is now displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, restored and redecorated to its original scheme of brilliant white paintwork with gilt, carved woodwork.


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