Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster, in central London, which forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from the site of the original Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. Recognised as the centre of Her Majesty's Government, the street is lined with government departments and ministries; the name "Whitehall" is thus also frequently used as a metonym for overall British governmental administration, as well as being a geographic name for the surrounding area.
The name is taken from the vast Palace of Whitehall that used to occupy the area but which was largely destroyed by fire in 1698. Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace. Trafalgar Square was built at its northern extremity in the early 19th century. The southernmost portion between Parliament Square and Downing Street is named Parliament Street. Combined, Parliament Street and Whitehall cover a distance of about 0.6 mile (1 km).
Whitehall is also widely known for a number of memorial statues and monuments, including Britain's primary war memorial, the Cenotaph.
The Cenotaph, Britain's primary war memorial, is situated in the centre of Whitehall and is the site of the annual ceremonies on Remembrance Sunday.
In 2005 a national Monument to the Women of World War II was erected a short distance north of the Cenotaph in the middle of the Whitehall carriageway.
The road is also home to six other monuments:
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (1819–1904): Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, 1856–1895
Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833–1908): Leader of the Liberal Party, 1875–1880; of the Liberal Unionist Party, 1886–1903; and of the Unionists (1902–1903)
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig (1861–1928): Commander-in-Chief of the British Armies in France, 1915 to 1918 (known as the Earl Haig Memorial)
William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim (1891–1970): Commander of the 14th Army, 1943–1945; and Governor-General of Australia, 1953–1959
Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke (1883–1963): Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1941–1946
Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (1887–1976): Commander of the 8th Army, 1942–1943, and of the 21st Army Group, 1943–1945; Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1946–1948
Government buildings on Whitehall, from north to south, include:
The Admiralty Buildings (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, others)
22 Whitehall (Department for International Development)
55 Whitehall (Department for Energy and Climate Change)
Old War Office
36 Whitehall (Office of the Parliamentary Counsel)
Ministry of Defence main building
Dover House (Scotland Office)
Gwydyr House (Wales Office)
70 Whitehall (the Cabinet Office)
Downing Street (Cabinet, Prime Minister (10 Downing Street) and Deputy Prime Minister)
Richmond House (Department of Health)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Government Offices Great George Street (HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and parts of the Cabinet Office)