Clarence House

Coordinates: 51°30′14″N 0°08′19″W / 51.5040°N 0.1385°W / 51.5040; -0.1385
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Clarence House
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
OwnerKing Charles III in right of the Crown
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
Architect(s)John Nash
Viewed from The Mall in 2008

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.

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. Little remains of the original structure designed by John Nash. It is Grade I listed on the National Heritage List for England.[1] The house is open to visitors for about one month each summer, usually in August.

Clarence House 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 Queen 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 moved there in preference to the adjoining St James's Palace, an antiquated Tudor building which he found too cramped.[3][4] When he became king, he remained at Clarence House, in preference to Buckingham Palace, and had John Nash create a direct passageway into the State Apartments of St James's Palace, where he could conduct royal business.[5] Built on palace grounds, Clarence House faces greenspace and The Mall and is next to Stable Yard road, across which lies Lancaster House.

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, Duchess of Kent.[6] In 1866 it became the London home of Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (also Duke of Edinburgh), until his death in 1900.[7]

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[8] and the school temporarily relocated to Cambridge.[9]

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.

After their marriage in 1947, it became the residence of Princess Elizabeth and her husband, 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,[7][10] 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.[11]

Currently, Clarence House is the London residence of King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla. They intend to continue to use Clarence House as their London home until at least 2027 during renovations to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace will remain the administrative headquarters for the monarchy and the location of state events during this time.[12]

Tenants of Clarence House[13][14]

  • King William IV and Queen Adelaide (1827–1837)
  • Duchess of Kent and Strathearn (1841–1861)
  • Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Maria, Duchess of Edinburgh (1866–1900)
  • Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Princess Louise, Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn (1901–1942)
  • Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1947–1952)
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1953–2002)
  • Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1953–1960)
  • King Charles III and Queen Camilla (2003–present)[15]
  • Prince William of Wales (2003–2011)
  • Prince Harry of Wales (2003–2012)


  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. Archived from the original on 25 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. ^ "Who lived in Clarence House?". Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  6. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b "History of Clarence House". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  8. ^ University of London: An Illustrated History: 1836–1986 By N. B. p. 255
  9. ^ Nature, 1939, Vol. 144(3659), pp. 1006–1007
  10. ^ Tori V. Martínez. "Palaces on the Periphery: Marlborough House and Clarence House". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Prince Harry moves into Kensington Palace". CBS News. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  12. ^ "'Not Fit' For His Reign: King Charles III Refuses To Relocate To Buckingham Palace With Queen Camilla". Archived from the original on 27 October 2022. Retrieved 15 December 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ "Who lived in Clarence House?". Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Where will King Charles III and Queen Camilla live?". House Beautiful. 6 May 2023. Archived from the original on 12 May 2023. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Inside Clarence House: King Charles and Camilla's official London residence". House & Garden. 15 September 2022. Archived from the original on 28 September 2023. Retrieved 6 October 2023.