Clarence House

Clarence House is a royal residence on The Mall in the City of Westminster, London. It was built in 1825–1827, adjacent to St James's Palace, for the royal Duke of Clarence, the future king William IV.

Clarence House
Clarence house.jpg
April 2006 image
Clarence House is located in City of Westminster
Clarence House
General information
TypeBritish royal residence
Architectural styleRegency
AddressThe Mall
Town or cityLondon
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′14″N 0°08′19″W / 51.5040°N 0.1385°W / 51.5040; -0.1385
Elevation16 m (52 ft)
Named forWilliam, Duke of Clarence
Construction started1825
OwnerThe Crown
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
Architect(s)John Nash
Viewed from The Mall in 2008

The four-storey house is faced in pale stucco. Over the years, it has undergone much extensive remodelling and reconstruction, most notably after being heavily damaged in the Second World War by enemy bombing during The Blitz where little remains of the original structure as designed by John Nash. It is Grade I listed on the National Heritage List for England.[1] The house is open to visitors for approximately one month each summer, usually in August.

Clarence House currently serves as the London residence of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.[2] It has been Charles's residence since 2003. From 1953 until 2002 it was home to Elizabeth, The Queen Mother,[3] and before her, it was the official home of her daughter, Princess Elizabeth, the future queen Elizabeth II.


Engraving of Clarence House (1874)

The house was built between 1825 and 1827 to a design by John Nash. It was commissioned by the Duke of Clarence, who in 1830 became King William IV of the United Kingdom (reigned 1830–1837). He lived there in preference to the adjacent St James's Palace, an antiquated Tudor building which he found too cramped.[3][4]

From William IV, the house passed to his sister Princess Augusta Sophia, and, following her death in 1840, to Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.[5] In 1866 it became the home of Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (also Duke of Edinburgh), until his death in 1900.[6]

Alfred's younger brother Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Queen Victoria's third son, used the house from 1900 until his death in 1942. During his tenure, for a brief period in the 1930s, it was the location of the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, until all universities in London were evacuated in 1939[7] and the school temporarily relocated to Cambridge.[8]

During World War II, Clarence House suffered damage by enemy bombing during The Blitz (1940–1941). Following the death of the Duke of Connaught in 1942, it was used by the Red Cross and the St John Ambulance Brigade as their headquarters during the rest of World War II.

Following their marriage in 1947, it became the residence of Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Their daughter, Princess Anne, was born there in August 1950. In 1953, after the death of her father King George VI (d. 6 February 1952), Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II and moved to Buckingham Palace. Her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and sister Princess Margaret moved into Clarence House.

Princess Margaret later moved into an apartment in Kensington Palace following her marriage in 1960,[6][9] whilst the Queen Mother remained in residence at Clarence House, until her death in March 2002. Charles, at that time Prince of Wales, took up residence in 2003. Clarence House was also the official residence of Prince William from 2003 until April 2011, and of Prince Harry from 2003 until March 2012.[10]

Currently, Clarence House is the London residence of King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla. They will continue to use Clarence House as their London home until at least 2027 while renovations to Buckingham Palace are ongoing. Buckingham Palace will remain the administrative headquarters for the monarchy and location of state events during this time.[11]

See alsoEdit

  • Birkhall – a house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland; inherited by Charles III from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
  • Highgrove House – a house near Tetbury, Gloucestershire; the family residence of Charles III and Camilla; owned by the Duchy of Cornwall


  1. ^ Historic England, "Clarence House (1236580)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 17 January 2017
  2. ^ "King Charles' grand rooms at Clarence House which remain out of bounds". HELLO!. 19 October 2022. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Who lived in Clarence House?". Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  4. ^ Hibbert, Christopher; Weinreb, Ben; Keay, John; Keay, Julia (9 September 2011). The London Encyclopaedia (3rd ed.). Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-73878-2.
  5. ^ Walford, Edward. "St James's Palace Pages 100–122 Old and New London: Volume 4. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878". British History Online. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b "History of Clarence House". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  7. ^ University of London: An Illustrated History: 1836–1986 By N. B. p. 255
  8. ^ Nature, 1939, Vol. 144(3659), pp. 1006–1007
  9. ^ Tori V. Martínez. "Palaces on the Periphery: Marlborough House and Clarence House". Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Prince Harry moves into Kensington Palace". CBS News.
  11. ^ 'Not Fit' For His Reign: King Charles III Refuses To Relocate To Buckingham Palace With Queen Camilla

External linksEdit