Clarence House has been a Royal Residence for over 180 years. It was built between 1825-1827 for William, Duke of Clarence by John Nash on the site of William’s old lodgings. In 1830 he became King and because Buckingham Palace was not finished he continued to live here. He tried St. James’s Palace for a time but found there was so little room that he and his Queen had to move all their books and letters out of the rooms before they could receive any guests. So a passage to connect the Palace with Clarence House was built.
During the second half of the Second World War it was the headquarters of the Red Cross and the St.Johns’s Ambulance Brigade. In 1947-50 it was the home of Princess Elizabeth before her accession. Princess Anne was born here. In 1953 the Queen Mother moved to Clarence House with Princess Margaret. Although twice remodelled, enlarged and restored after bomb damage, three storeys remain of Nash’s building as well as a number of ceilings and mantelpieces of the same period. Clarence House remained the home of the Queen Mother until her death in 2002. Thereafter it was refurbished by the Prince of Wales. The arrangements of the rooms and the groupings of their contents remain much as they were in the Queen Mother’s time, with important works from Her Majesty’s famous collection of art.
Today it is the official residence of Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Here they receive official guests from the country and overseas on behalf of the nation.
The tour includes the five rooms on the ground floor where official engagements are undertaken.
This will be a unique tour as the house is only open to the public during August each year