Clarence House has been an active royal residence since it was completed in 1827. Learn more about the Queen’s former home here.
Where is it located?
Clarence House is a British royal residence which is located on The Mall in the City of Westminster, London. The four-storey building is attached to St James’s Palace and is less than a five-minute walk from Buckingham Palace.
When was it built and when was it used as a royal residence?
The house was commissioned by Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, later King William IV and built between 1825 and 1827. The third son of King George III had architect John Nash design the building as he was famed for his previous work such as Buckingham Palace and Marble Arch. It is widely thought that the prince had Clarence House built because he found the neighbouring St James’s Palace too cramped.
Clarence House has remained a working royal residence since it was built almost 200 years ago.
Who has lived there?
Following William IV’s death in 1837, his sister, Princess Augusta Sophia lived at Clarence House until her death in 1840. The house was then occupied by Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg- Saalfeld, the mother of Queen Victoria, before becoming the home of the Queen’s second son, Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh.
After Prince Alfred’s death in 1900, his younger brother Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn lived at Clarence House until his death in 1942. During this time, the home was also utilised as the location of the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
During World War II, the house was damaged during The Blitz and after the death of the Duke of Connaught in 1942, it was used by the Red Cross and the St John’s Ambulance Brigade for the remainder of the war.
Clarence House was next occupied in 1947 when the newly married Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh moved in. However, following Queen Elizabeth II’s sudden accession to the throne in 1952 after the death of King George VI, the new Monarch moved into Buckingham Palace.
The next residents were the widowed Queen Mother and her younger daughter, Princess Margaret. The princess then moved into Kensington Palace after her marriage to Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon in 1960 whilst the Queen Mother remained at Clarence House until her death in 2002.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are the current residents, with Prince Charles moving into the house in August 2003.
Which key events have happened here?
Clarence House has seen several key events, such as the death of Princess Augusta Sophia. The house also witnessed the birth of Princess Anne in 1950, when her parents lived there before her mother became the Queen.
The house is also the site that Prince William and his best man, Prince Harr,y set off from for his wedding to Catherine Middleton in April 2011 at Westminster Abbey.