Inside Prince Charles And Camilla's Gorgeous Home

Clarence House, the primary home of Prince Charles and Camilla, rests beside St James's Palace and is within walking distance of Buckingham Palace. The impressive four-story building was designed for Prince William Henry, the Duke of Clarence, between 1825 and 1827. Before Charles and Camilla came to live at the estate, it was home of the late Queen Mother for nearly 50 years. When the current Queen of England was a young princess, she and her husband, Prince Philip, also lived at the royal residence for a time.

Although the royal family's official site says the building "underwent extensive refurbishment and redecoration" to become a home for Charles, much remained the same as it had in early- to mid-1900s. Even the queen's furniture and art remain in the rooms they were originally placed.

Let's take a look around this gorgeous home of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to see what's changed and what's stayed the same.

An aristocratic townhouse

When looking at Clarence House, you may not get the townhouse vibe, but according to the Royal Collection Trust, that's exactly what it is. In fact, it's one of the few aristocratic townhouses left remaining in London. It also looks very much the same as it did many, many years ago.

As an official residence for royalty, this house is meant for more than just relaxing. Dr. Pamela Hartshorne, historian and author of Clarence House, wrote that it is still "very much a working house." Every year, Charles and Camilla host meetings, receptions, charity events, and support other causes from within their residence. Even the Dalai Lama has been a guest at the Duke and Duchess' home.

Additionally, many non-royals reside at Clarence House. Members of the Duke of Cornwall's household who are responsible for supporting official engagements and organizations live on-site. The main rooms of the nineteenth century abode, however, are used almost exclusively by Charles and Camilla.

The Morning Room is perfect for portraits

Charles and Camilla's home has become a popular spot for official christening photos. After Prince William and Kate Middleton's first son, George, was christened in 2013, the family took to the Morning Room of Clarence House to document the event. When the couple's third child and second son, Prince Louis, was christened, the family gathered once again for an official portrait in the Morning Room. What makes this room so special?

For one thing, it's nostalgic. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have christening photographs of four generations displayed in this cozy space. According to The Telegraph, photos of Charles' grandchildren also fill the room, as well as many pictures of his own children and parents.

A Chippendale sofa and chair set, circa 1773 and apparently acquired by Prince William Henry, adds an understated royal flare to this room as well. Not to mention the spectacular robin's egg blue textiles against the backdrop of muted white walls. It's no wonder the Morning Room is a popular spot to take and display photographs, as well as host company.

The sentimental Royal Dining Room

In over a hundred years, the Royal Dining Room remains relatively unchanged. Sir Edwin Landseer's "Hector, Nero and Dash" painting still hangs in the large rectangular space. The gilding and decorations added to the ceiling in the early 1900s is still very much present. 

Although some of the artwork has been swapped out and a larger dining table has been added (seen here), the Royal Dining Room is still an ode to the past. A large centerpiece, along with a coordinating table service, was gifted to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth from the City of Paris when the couple visited France in 1938. This centerpiece is still in use today.

Charles and Camilla also kept a pair of Chinese porcelain wine coolers — no, they're not the kind of wine coolers we commoners are familiar with. Instead, they're essentially intricately enameled basins with claw-and-ball feet for, undoubtedly, holding wine. These intricate pieces were likely acquired by George IV. The history in the Royal Dining Room alone is quite amazing.

The Garden Room, or is it Rooms?

Once upon a time, the Garden Room in the Clarence House was actually two rooms. According to the Royal Collection Trust, this was the case when Princess Margaret resided at the home prior to getting married. These days, however, the Garden Room is one expansive — and gorgeous — space. 

The room is often used as a place in which to receive visitors. Over the years, people ranging from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a diplomat, activist, and Nobel Prize winner, to Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, have been welcomed into the Garden Room by Prince Charles and Camilla.

As such, the Garden Room contains ornate sofas, a set of 12 armchairs, various gold embellishments, a large Persian wool rug, and a variety of framed oil paintings. The room even features a French bronze candelabrum that predates electricity and thus has been retrofitted. This room is all kinds of royal.

The Lancaster Room: the first room off the Hall

Back in the time of the Duke of Clarence, the Royal Collection Trust explained that the Lancaster Room was once the Equerry's Room. An equerry, as The Telegraph described, is an officer of the royal family who often attends official royal events and engagements. 

Although the name has since changed, the Equerry's Room and the Lancaster Room function in much the same way. It's essentially a "waiting room for visitors," according to the Royal Collection Trust. It also happens to the be the "first room off the Hall," so it's in a prime location for guests. Now, what good would this room be if it didn't contain a variety of fancy things with which to impress visitors? No good, that's what.

Naturally, Charles and Camilla have filled this space with beautiful antiques including everything from late seventeenth century Chinese vases to early nineteenth century English sofas. Although not the official "Library" of the home, this room houses a library cabinet. You know, in case you get bored waiting around for the Duke and Duchess.

The Library isn't for reading?

The Library in Charles and Camilla's four-story estate probably isn't very much like you'd have imagined. Mainly in that books are not the central focus. The Royal Collection Trust explained that the late Queen Mother would use the room for intimate dinners when she lived at Clarence House. Following a similar pattern, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall host events, including meals, in the Library.

In 2014, Camilla invited the children of the Helen & Douglas House, "a hospice for children and young adults," as director Clare Edwards explained to The Royal Family, to decorate the Clarence House Christmas tree as well as have lunch. While a sizable collection of books can be seen in the background of this event, this space is more open — and therefore a bit less cozy — than your typical in-home library. Of course, that means it makes another great space for entertaining, which is really a lot of what the Clarence House is all about.

The Horse Corridor is not your average hallway

Blink and you'd miss it, but the hallway that connects to the Library can be seen in The Royal Family's interview with Clare Edwards. This narrow space with brightly colored and patterned wallpaper is called the Horse Corridor. Why? Well, on account of all the horse memorabilia, of course! One Twitter user pointed out the Duchess' love of horses by photographing some of the art found in the corridor. 

As is depicted in a photograph of the hallway shared by Where, the room features a two matching sofas and a pair of cabinets. These cabinets are naturally not your average hallway consoles. The Royal Collection Trust describes them as "mahogany cabinets, each with a pale brown marble top." Multiple equestrian statuettes are displayed on these marble-topped cabinets. Sticking with the theme, several large oil paintings of horses also line the walls of the Horse Corridor. While these design elements likely wouldn't work in a commoner's home, it somehow all comes together at Clarence House.

The Gardens: An impressive green space

As amazing and quintessentially royal as the Clarence House is, the grounds of the home are equally impressive. The Telegraph got a behind-the-scenes look at the Gardens and told of expansive weeping trees nearly two centuries old. 

Just as the late Queen Mother used to enjoy hosting luncheons in these same gardens, Prince Charles, too, delights in scheduling outdoor meetings, events, and parties. Upon moving into Clarence House, though, Prince Charles made some updates to the property, including switching over to organic processes.

During the Dalai Lama's visit in 2008, he added a magnolia tree besides some of the older, resident trees. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall now also have a vegetable garden with rows upon rows of peas, lettuce, and spinach as well as potted tomatoes. Charles even made sure to add a composting system, albeit one that is carefully hidden in a brick structure as to not be an eye sore. The royal couple's green space is certainly a sight to behold.