Clarence House, London home of the Duchess of Cornwall

Clarence House, London home of the Duchess of Cornwall

The Building

Clarence House was built between 1825 and 1827 for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence.

The architect of was John Nash. During its history the house has been altered as it has had different royal uses over its nearly 200 years of existence. It is next door to St James's Palace (seen as the building on the left above) and it is connected by passageways.

The house has four storeys, excluding attics or basements, and is faced in pale stucco. Relatively little remains of Nash's original structure.

The Occupants

Clarence House first occupant was Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, who lived there as King William IV from 1830 until 1837. He preferred it to the nearby St James's Palace, which he found too cramped. .

It was willed to his sister Princess Augusta Sophia and, following her death in 1840, to Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the mother of Queen Victoria.

In 1866, it became the home of Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Edinburgh until his death in 1900.

His younger brother Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria's third son, then lived in the the house from 1900 until his death in 1942, during which time the house suffered damage inflicted by German bombing.

It was used by the Red Cross and the St. John Ambulance Brigade as their headquarters during the rest of World War II.

It then became the home to The Queen, when she was the heir apparent,the then Princess Elizabeth, following her marriage to The Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. And in fact the The Prince of Wales lived there between the ages of one and three.

It was the London home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1953 until 2002.

Following The Queen Mother's death, the house underwent essential renovation and redecoration in 2002 to 2003. The Royal Household Property Services carried out the refurbishment. The internal decoration was carried out under the direction of the interior designer, Robert Kime.

The Prince of Wales returned to here on 4th August 2003. From 2005 it has become the official London residence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

The building today

Clarence House is open to the public during the summer months each year, offering an opportunity to see the main rooms on the ground floor of the House. All tickets for the guided tours are timed and must be pre-booked

The building also provides office accommodation for Prince Charles’s official staff who support him in his public and charitable duties. The Prince receives official guests here, and has a number of official seminars, lunches, receptions and dinners. Several thousand official guests are received at the House annually.

The decoration of the rooms retains the The Queen Mother's tastes, and much of her collection of works of art and furniture are in their original positions. The Queen Mother’s art collection is on display, and it is particularly strong in twentieth-century British art, embracing important works by John Piper, Graham Sutherland, W.S Sickert and Augustus John.

The term issued "by Clarence House" is often used in the media to refer to the Prince of Wales's private office,

Clarence House, London home of Duchess of Cornwall

Clarence house is London home of the Duchess of Cornwall