The Patrician's Palace, (originally called the "Royal Winter Palace"), is, of course, where the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork rules, (or works), and resides. The Patrician may have his own office for working. He may conduct meetings with other city leaders, (the Guilds and the nobles). He may grant interviews on business matters. He may hold criminal trials. He may keep criminals in the dungeons. For the current Patrician, Lord Havelock Vetinari, the most important activity is probably gathering information, both by reading reports and listening to people.
The Patrician's Palace also functions as a government, administration building. The Guilds have to register with the Patrician's Palace. The Palace also does the payroll of city employees. Wages chitty of, for example, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, gets signed by the Patrician, sent to the Watch to be signed by the senior officer, and then gets taken by Watchmen back up to the Palace to exchange for the actual money. The Compleat Ankh-Morpork has the information that following the events of Jingo, the Barbican, immediately opposite from the Palace, has been refurbished as "Government offices" and presumably has the function of housing the overspilling Secretariat which can no longer be accomodated at the Palace. The Barbican can therefore be viewed as a Palace extension.
The Palace also serves as repository of all the intelligence that any spies employed by the city may have gathered. The Patrician also hears the most serious or sensitive court cases and hands out judgments. Convicted criminals may be imprisoned in dungeons in the Palace, or executed by hangmen employed by the city. See also the articles on Ankh-Morpork and Lord Havelock Vetinari for more details on the current running of the city.
Some Divisions of City Government
- Ankh-Morpork City Watch / "City Watch" - Commander Sir Samuel Vimes
- Ankh-Morpork Post Office / "Royal Mail" - Post Master General Moist von Lipwig
- The Regiments - Commanded, when required, by The Duke of Ankh
- Ankh-Morpork RoyalMint / "Royal Mint" - Master of the Mint - Moist von Lipwig
- The Civil Service - Chief Clerk Rufus Drumknott
- Penal Service - The Warder
- The Diplomatic Service/Corps
- Tax & Revenue Collection - Taxmaster Mr Creaser
- Bureau of Measures
- Official Keeper of the Monuments - Mr Scant
Among his other duties, Drumknott manages the Palace household staff.
- Housekeeper to the Palace is named as Miss Triplet.
- The Chief Torturer is named as Cedric.
- Mildred Easy is one of the Palace maids at the time of Feet of Clay. Her supervisor is
- Mrs Dipplock, a senior maid.
- The Palace cook, per Vetinari's policies, is also the parent of His Lordship's food-tasters.
- Heretofore was employed as a Palace gardener at some point prior to Making Money.
A security force, the Palace Guard, provides protection for the palace grounds. Prior to Men at Arms, the Guard also acted as enforcers for the ruling power; since the Watch was reorganized and elevated, this role has been downplayed and the Guard's prestige has diminished.
Note: Lord Vetinari mentioned once that he employs some regiments, (Going Postal). However, these may be very few if they do exist, due to the deplorable state of city finances. When there had been real threats of warfare, each of the old noble houses raised its own family regiments, answerable, alas, only to the head of that Family, (see Jingo). Considering that Vetinari himself is of an old and wealthy noble family, he probably does have his own regiment, though his rejection of warfare as a means to an end may indicate rare deployment.
The Palace used to be the Royal Winter Palace for the old kings of Ankh, because in the winter the notorious Ankh-Morpork smell is not so bad, and so it is bearable to actually stay in the city. There is no indication where the Summer Palace is or was.
Notable features of the Palace are:
- The dungeons (see Guards! Guards!), most notably the scorpion pits. Once held Sam Vimes briefly and even Lord Vetinari himself. Contains several devices of punishment, many of which are considered cruel, and some that are quite unusual as well. The last King of Ankh-Morpork, Lorenzo the Kind, as well as the several succeeding Patricians have presumably made extensive use of these tools.
- The Gardens, designed by "Bloody Stupid" Johnson many years ago. As indicative of his work in general, it boasts several interesting features. Examples include the exploding sundial, beehives that can house homing pigeons, and also the Hoho, which is like a haha but deeper, (see Men at Arms & Interesting Times). Heretofore was once employed as a gardener here.
- The Palace Menagerie, a relict of previous Patricians, which houses an unspecified range of animal life. We know that the University Librarian sometimes hops over the wall at night, but what he does here is a mystery, as the Menagerie has been specifically stated not to house any orangs of either sex.
- The Oblong Office, where the current Patrician, Lord Havelock Vetinari, works. It is rumored that his bedroom is next door, but nobody can imagine Lord Vetinari ever wasting time with such mundane matters as sleeping. The waiting room outside his office has a very interesting clock that ticks irregularly, (tick, tock, tick-tick, tock), presumably this is intentional on Vetinari's part to distract and infuriate people before his meeting.
- The Rats Chamber, has a fresco of dancing rats on the ceiling, rat wall paper, rat carpet, and so on, making people feel they need a wash after a few minutes, (see Feet of Clay). This is used for meetings with the city leaders, the Guild Presidents and the heads of the Ankh-Morpork noble families. At the conclusion of Feet of Clay, it is believed that Vimes buried an axe in the centre of the table which almost split the table in half. The axe remains there as a conversation piece.
- The Throne Room, where the Golden Throne of Ankh still sits on top of a flight of stairs, in a very large room, waiting for the King to return, (see Men at Arms). Lord Vetinari sometimes works at a wooden desk at the foot of the stairs. Very few people know that the 'Golden Throne' is actually mostly rotting wood beneath a thin layer of gold foil. If any future king were to ever sit on it, it would be quite an embarrassing scene.
- The Hall of Faces, a place of quiet contemplation that enshrines the death masks of past Patricians. Or at least those for whom enough of the face remained, post-mortem, for a death mask to be made. From context in Making Money, it is fairly close to the Oblong Office, or at least on the same floor.
- There is also a staff canteen/dining room, with adjacent staff kitchen. Rufus Drumknott is interviewed here by Angua and Cheery Littlebottom in Feet of Clay. The Palace also has the inevitable supporting infrastructure of storage rooms, servants' quarters, pantries, butteries and wine-cellars.
The general outline of the Palace, or at least the ground plan, is given on the available Mapps of the city of Ankh-Morpork. We know from context in Feet of Clay that it has at least six floors, plus cellars, sub-cellars, and liveable attics. No internal plan has yet been given.