Visitors to the bustling London borough of the City of Westminster might like to take some time out of their itinerary to explore one of the most popular royal households in the whole of the UK, Clarence House.
Located on The Mall beside the impressive St James’ Palace, this grade I-listed building has been home to an array of monarchs, princes, princesses and members of the royal family since the early 19th century.
A brief history of Clarence House
Built between 1825 and 1827 and designed by renowned architect John Nash, Clarence House was originally the residence of Prince William Henry, the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV, who ruled from 1830 until 1837).
It is a building with a long and interesting heritage, having been created with a far more reserved tone than the grand nature of nearby Buckingham Palace – another of Nash’s most high-profile commissions for the royal estate.
Over the years, Clarence House has counted among its residents an array of British aristocracy, including the aforementioned King William IV, through to Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) and The Duke of Edinburgh, who briefly lived here after their marriage in 1947.
Following Princess Elizabeth’s accession as Queen, the royal couple moved to Buckingham Palace and Clarence House became the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1953 until 2002.
Insights into the royal household
Today, Clarence House is the official London residence of a number of members of the royal household, including most notably the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Opened to the public each summer, the property is a living museum dedicated to showcasing the important work carried out by Their Royal Highnesses, with the property also the main headquarters of The Prince of Wales’s Household – liaising with more than 350 individual organisations on important works and areas of support.
The Prince receives foreign dignitaries, high-profile visitors to the UK and other special guests at Clarence House each year, with the building regularly used for official receptions.
Visitors to the capital can enjoy a private guided tour of the property during their stay, as well as access to the impressive royal gardens.
Advice for guests of Clarence House
Clarence House will be open to the public during the month of August this year, with admission to this spectacular London property available between the hours of 10 am until 4.30 pm on weekdays (last entry at 3.30 pm) and from 10 am until 5.30 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm) on weekends.
Tickets for a guided tour will cost £9.80 for adults, £5.80 for children up to the age of 17 and anyone with a disability, while children under five can get in for free.
All visitors are reminded that security at Clarence House is of the highest order and therefore a one-way system operates along the visitor route at all times during tours, while individuals may also be subject to searches upon arrival.
Refreshments are not permitted anywhere on the premises, while photography and video recording is also not allowed on the grounds.
Travel options for Clarence House visitors
Individuals keen to reach Clarence House with as little stress as possible might like to make use of the many nearby London Underground stations that service this popular part of the capital, including:
- Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines)
- Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines)
- Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines)
- Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
- Embankment (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Northern lines)
- Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines.
- St James’s Park (Circle and District lines)
- Victoria (Circle, District and Victoria lines)
- Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line)
Travellers heading to this busy part of London via overground rail can also make use of the nearby London Charing Cross and London Victoria stations, while visitors can also make use of local bus services that both run both day and night.
Full details of Underground opening times, planned line maintenance, bus timetables and more can all be found by visiting the Transport for London website.
Many nearby attractions for visitors to enjoy
It is not just Clarence House that draws millions of visitors to this popular area of London every year though, as the City of Westminster is renowned as one of the most attraction-packed districts in the whole of the English capital.
Other outstanding nearby attractions that are a must-visit for anyone planning a trip to the area include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Coca-Cola London Eye, The London Dungeon, the National Gallery, the Palace of Westminster, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the British Museum, as well as many more besides.