There are numerous royal palaces in London but which are royal residences?
Foremost is Buckingham Palace, the official residence and office of the monarch – Queen Elizabeth II – in London. The palace – acquired for the Crown by King George III in 1761, converted to a palace by King George IV and first lived in by Queen Victoria – is also used for State ceremonies and for official entertaining.
Other royal residences include Clarence House which is the official London residence of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The property was built between 1825 and 1827 to the designs of John Nash for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence (hence the name).
It was the home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, between 1953 and her death in 2002, and was also temporarily the home of the then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip following their marriage in 1947.
St James’s Palace, which was largely built by King Henry VIII and served as the residence of numerous monarchs until King William IV, also remains the home of several members of the Royal Family – including Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra – and their household offices.
The State Apartments are sometimes used for entertaining during in-coming State Visits, as well as for other ceremonial and formal occasions. Its history means diplomats are still accredited to the Court of St James.
Kensington Palace – childhood home of Queen Victoria and favoured residence of monarchs from King William III to King George II – is these days the official London residence of Prince William and Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
It also contains the London residences and offices of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
While Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kew Palace and the remnant of the Palace of Whitehall known as the Banqueting House are all royal palaces, they ceased being used regularly for royal court purposes in the 18th century and are now in the care of Historic Royal Palaces (along with parts of Kensington Palace).
2 thoughts on “London Explained – Royal residences…”
Clarence House is the loveliest of the royal residences, not because it is the biggest and most expensive, but because it looked like a lovely Georgian home. If I had to live in a palace, I would choose this attractive family home with attractive (and not pompous) interiors.
This is such a lovely article. Who knew there were so many royal residences in London? Thanks for sharing 😊!