Tour Clarence House, a Royal Home in London for 200 Years

As Clarence House, the home of royalty for the past two centuries, opens its gilded gates to visitors this month, get an insight into British royal life

Clarence House, the home of royalty for the past two centuries, opens its gilded gates to visitors this month, giving you the chance to see what life is like for a royal.

Clarence House, London, built by John Nash
Clarence House, built by John Nash in the 1820s (©Royal Collection Trust/HM Queen Elizabeth II)

If walls could talk, it would be captivating to know what Clarence House has to say. Perhaps they would tell us about how the Queen Mother took her daily gin and Dubonnet, what it was like when the newlyweds, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, moved in, or what happens when Prince Charles babysits Prince George. While you might not get the full story of these events on your visit, you can get one step closer to understanding what life is like for the royal family.

Clarence House has been home to royalty for over two centuries. John Nash, whose other work includes Buckingham Palace, and the planning of St. James’s Park and Regent Street, built the home between 1825 and 1829. Today, the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall reside there.

Horse Corridor in Clarence House, London
Clarence House's Horse Corridor (©Royal Collection/HM Queen Elizabeth II)

The one-hour guided tour begins in the garden where there is a memorial to The Queen Mother. You then visit the Lancaster Room, the Morning Room, the Library, Dining Room and the Garden Room, which is where guests from around the world are received. And, finally, the normally off-limits Cornwall Room, displaying Prince Charles’ watercolours.

And, after your guide has taken you around the four-storey house, what better way to celebrate than with the added extra: a glass of Champagne?

Garden Room at Clarence House, London
The Garden Room, where foreign guests are received (©Royal Collection/HM Queen Elizabeth II)

If you still have a taste for royalty, why not snoop around The Queen’s splendid home, Buckingham Palace during the summer opening (to Sep). In addition to the State Rooms, you can also visit the new Royal Childhood exhibition displaying toys, from rocking horses to Parisian dolls, which have entertained royal babies for centuries. As this year marks the 300th anniversary of George I’s accession to the throne, it's a perfect time to visit his former home, Kew Palace, inside Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Windsor Castle, located less than an hour away from London, offers the chance to explore 1,000 years of history.