Prince Charles is set to “live in a flat about the shop” and open Buckingham Palace’s doors all year round to the public when he is King, reports have stated. In a bid to radically overhaul the royal estate, the monarch will downsize and make the Queen’s current abode a bigger tourist attraction. But how will the rooms the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall live in, in the “flat” be designed? Perhaps they will choose similar colours, styles and focal points of those in their current abodes, Clarence House in London and Highgrove House and Gardens in Gloucestershire.
Clarence House was built between 1825 and 1827 by John Nash for George III’s thirds son, the Duke of Clarence.
From 1949 to 1952, it was the home of Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh.
And later, the home to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother who lived there for 50 years.
In 2003, the Prince of Wales moved in and the arrangement of rooms inside remain much as they were from the Queen Mother’s time.
Visitors to Clarence House are first greeted by the gardens, designed by The Prince of Wales in 2004-2005 in memory of his grandmother.
“The major change since the house was built for The Duke of Clarence has been that the entrance was moved,” Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts for Royal Collection Trust explained.
“The original front door and entrance hall have been replaced by The Library (between The Morning Room and The Dining Room) and there was a conservatory where The Entrance Hall now stands.”
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As with many new occupants, the appearance inside a house changes.
And the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are no different as Kathryn said they “have now made it their home, so it reflects their taste”.
“The major change has been in The Dining Room which has the unusual and striking bronze coving to the ceiling,” she adds.
“The other thing that always strikes you when you are inside the house is how much the garden is present – many of the rooms look out into the garden and there is a sense of it almost like an extra room to the house.”
The Lancaster Room is located at the first right off the entrance hall and is used as a waiting room for visitors to to house.
It is home to eight watercolours of Windsor Castle, painted by John Piper during the early 1940s.
The colour palette consists of red and gold, with armchairs made from a red and navy striped fabric.
Dark furniture is placed around d the outside of the room, housing many books.
The Morning Room is entirely different, it is light and calm with duck egg blue and creams for a colour palette.
It was originally designed as the breakfast room and, between 1949 and 1952 it was used as The Duke of Edinburgh’s study.
More recently, a Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Morning Room has seen some very special moments, such as the Christening photographs for Prince George and Prince Louis.”
On the ceiling the elaborate plasterwork shows Queen Elizabeth’s crown, and the large south-facing window looks out onto the garden.
There is also a library and dining room – in similar reds, golds and dark wood tones like The Lancaster Room.
The style of the Dining Room has been described as ‘Pompeian’ and was one of the more recent refurbishments in the house.
The ceiling ceiling is accented by striking bronze coving, which was added by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
The Garden Room offers beauty views out onto the garden and it is home to a couple of impressive musical instruments, a grand piano and golden harp.
It, again, is adorned with deep red, gold and cream, but with a few elements of green dotted around in the form of plants and two armchairs.
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Highgrove House is often referred to as Charles and Camilla’s “family home”.
The Georgian neo-classical house dates back to the 1780s and Prince Charles bought the home and grounds in 1980.
During that time, His Royal Highness has made extensive changes to both the house and garden.
The transformation of Highgrove Garden has been a passionate project for The Prince of Wales and is of huge interest to visitors.
“When the Prince first arrived, Highgrove possessed little more than a neglected kitchen garden, an overgrown copse, some pastureland and a few hollow oaks,” the estate’s website reads.
“Today, after the hard work of scores of people, the garden unfolds in a series of highly personal and inspiring tableaux, each one reflecting the Prince’s interests and enthusiasms.”
“The garden at Highgrove really does spring from my heart and, strange as it may seem to some, creating it has been rather like a form of worship,” Prince Charles said in 1993.
Sustainability is at the heart of The Prince of Wales’s management of the gardens.
All waste materials are recycled, and the gardens are maintained to ensure they thrive in complete harmony with nature.
Rainwater is collated and used for irrigation, and a specially designed reed bed sewage system manages the estate’s waste water.
The Prince of Wales also has solar panels and a wood chip boiler which are used for heating, while composting and natural fertilisers ensure the garden is as self-sufficient and environmentally friendly as possible.
The Highgrove Estate is also the location of Home Farm, a centre of excellence for organic farming.
Proud of his Gardens, Prince Charles enjoys sharing his estate with guests: “One of my great joys is to see the pleasure that the garden can bring to many of the visitors and that everybody seems to find some part of it that is special to them,” the royal said in 2019.
Members of the public can visit Highgrove Gardens on select dates between February and October.
With such a passion for gardening, perhaps Prince Charles will extend the months visitor are allowed to explore Buckingham Palace.
Currently, the Queen opens the gates from July to October each year, so members of the public can see the 19 State Rooms and explore the Palace’s Garden.
To add to this, a current 10-year plan to renovate the Palace is underway.
It is said to be costing £369million and if the Duke of Cornwall is savvy as some reports suggest, perhaps he and Camilla will hold off redesigning the area they are to live in.
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