Inside the secrets of Camilla’s home Clarence House – an intimate tour

The Archers' 70th anniversary performed at Clarence House

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Clarence House is just one of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s main addresses across the UK. With a rich history dating back to the 1800’s, the royal home is filled with precious period pieces and countless treasures owned by the Royal Family. Despite parts of the property being open to the public, Clarence house is home to centuries of hidden secrets – this is a look inside.

When was Clarence House built?

Built between 1825 and 1827 for King William IV, Clarence House has been home to many royals over the years.

John Nash was the lead architect who designed the original structure of the property in the early 1800’s, with the help of a number of other 19th century artists.

The stunning white house sits in close proximity to Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace – all in the heart of Britain’s capital.

Over the years, Clarence House has undergone a host of structural updates to “reflect the changes in occupancy over nearly two centuries”, says Royal UK, but the property’s history remains the same.

Clarence House is connected to St James’s Palace

One of the most unique features of the home of Camilla and Prince Charles is the unique connection Clarence House has with another royal residence.

Situated in the core of the city of London, this 19th century home can be found on the border of Green Park – close to St.James’s Palace.

A key design element of the royal abode is the physical link between Clarence House and a corner of St James’s Palace.

To this day the original corridor between the two buildings still stands.

The Crown Chronicles said: “ Today the two are still linked by a corridor on the first floor, being useful for larger receptions and events.”

The Library at Clarence House

The library is one of five rooms on the ground floor of the four-storey building.

Having previously been used for intimate dinners during the Queen Mother’s stay at the house for five decades, the library at Clarence House has been the setting for a number of royal affairs.

Camilla is now said to use the room for official engagements, with guests able to enjoy the stunning decor of the room which is filled with sentimental treasures, including:

  • A gold-framed painting of The Order of the Garter held by Queen Anne at Kensington Palace on August, 4, 1713
  • Landscape painting signed and dated, 1780 by John Taylor which was gifted to King George IV in 1822
  • Ornate Chinese snuff bottles – given to the Royal Family as a Christmas gift in 1914 by aristocratic humanitarian, Lady Padgett
  • 1923 Portrait of the Queen Mother

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What is Clarence House used for?

While today the house is a fully functioning home for Camilla and Prince Charles, it has served several generations of the monarch in the past.

Clarence House was first inhabited by the Duke of Clarence (future William IV), his brother George IV and his wife, Queen Adelaide who were responsible for building the new royal home.

William IV stayed at the address during his reign as King though his sister, Princess Augusta moved in following his death.

The home has since been inhabited by:

  • Queen Victoria’s mother, Victoria Duchess of Kent (1840-1861)
  • Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1866)
  • Duke and Duchess of Connaught (1901)
  • Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1947-1952)
  • The Queen mother (1953-2002)

During World War 2 Clarence House was left uninhabited by the Royal Family and was used to facilitate the British Red Cross.

After some redecoration following the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the house became an administration base for contacting prisoners of war (POW) during 1942.

At the height of the war, Clarence House was a key military address – it was the chosen venue of an exhibition on the conditions of POWs abroad, says The Crown Chronicles.

Following extensive bomb damage, the building underwent thorough repairs and was renovated prior to the arrival Princess Elizabeth and her new husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

According to the Royal Collection Trust, the Victorian interiors were given a fresh new appearance under The Duke of Edinburgh’s guidance.

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