Ever wonder what it’s like to live in a royal residence? Depending on whose home you stay in — not everyone has Meghan Markle’s style — it’s something out of a real-life fairytale. From the Clarence House interiors to the sustainability and eco-friendly Highgrove House, take a look into the beautiful homes of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, ahead.
Inside Clarence House
Despite access to many royal residences, Clarence House serves as Charles and Camilla’s primary home. The house was built between 1825 and 1827 and features many stunning rooms filled with items from the Royal Collection. It also includes furniture and personal touches left by the late Queen Mother, who once lived there.
Inside, Charles and Camilla’s guests can enjoy areas such as the morning room — where the family sat for Prince Louis’s christening photos — the garden room, the Lancaster room, and the library room. During her time at Clarence House, the Queen Mother hosted intimate dinner parties in the library room. The couple also has a personal garden that Charles created to honor his grandmother and a particular room decorated with watercolors he painted himself.
Like Buckingham Palace, Charles and Camilla open their royal residence to the public every summer (in August) and offer tours of the home’s most prominent rooms. Clarence House visitors can see all five main rooms, adjoining spaces, and can even book a VIP tour for a chance to see the prince’s own artwork.
While royal family fans visit Clarence House, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall hide away in their Scotland vacation home, Birkhall. Located on the Balmoral Estate, Birkhall sits on the estate’s 50,000 acres of farmland, forestry, and hills.
Like Clarence House, Birkhall once belonged to the Queen Mother and was where she would often spend her summers with her daughter — Queen Elizabeth — and grandchildren, including Prince Charles. The grounds feature plenty of wildlife, including ponies, deer, grouse moors, and cattle. It also houses some of the family’s horses and is one of the queen’s favorite places to ride horseback.
Birkhall was built in 1715, but the royal family didn’t acquire it until 1849. The house served as accommodation for summer guests until the Queen Mother moved in. Following her death, Charles inherited the house. In 2005, he and Camilla spent their second honeymoon in the Scottish abode.
Inside Highgrove House
Charles isn’t the only one with the impressive real estate — Camilla has her own vacation home, too. The duchess purchased Highgrove House (including the gardens and nearby farmland) in 1980, before her and Charles’ infamous affair.
Today, the couple treat Highgrove House as a family home where the prince can garden and focus on environmental sustainability. According to the Prince of Wales’s website, he also uses the house for “many briefings and receptions,” and recently added a new suite to the property called Orchard Room. The building is made of Cotswold stone “to reflect the local architecture.”
Highgrove House and its farmlands are also an accurate representation of the organic movement. It features a Reed bed sewage system for all the estate’s waste and everything inside is recycled or composted. The home also has energy-saving utilities such as light bulbs and serves as an educational site for guests during April and October.
Following their marriage, the Duchess of Cornwall purchased another home for her and Charles to enjoy. Located in Wales, the Charles and Camilla use the house whenever they visit the country for official visits.
The home sits on 215 acres and is completely renovated to the couple’s liking. During renovation, the Prince of Wales had sustainability in mind. Natural sheep’s wool insulates the house while a wood chip boiler provides hot water and heating. Low-energy lighting and energy-efficient appliances also spotlight the prince’s eco-friendly vision. The cleaning staff also uses environmentally safe cleaning products and the home has a reed-bed sewage system.
It’s no secret that organic farming and gardening is important to Charles and Camilla. According to the prince’s website, “the gardens and grounds are managed under organic principles without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.” Also, sheep act as “selective lawn mowers that fertilize the ground as they graze.”
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