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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday~ Royal Residences Part I

H.R.H. Prince William is currently based at RAF Valley as a Sea King search and rescue pilot. After his marriage to Catherine in April they will continue to live in the whitewashed farmhouse he currently rents on the island of Anglesey. They have stated that they are opting to have no servants for optimum privacy. Yet another sign that Prince William will be a thoroughly modern monarch. But when they are in London the couple will have the use of an apartment at Clarence House.

Clarence House is located in London in the city of Westminster. For over 50 years it was the residence of the Queen Mother and was also the official residence of H.R.H. Prince Charles and Camilla until 2009. The house was commissioned by William IV and built between 1825~ 1827 by John Nash.

The house is a four storied affair that has undergone extensive remodeling and reconstruction over the years, most notably after the Second World War. Interior designer Robert Kime did the most recent redecoration of the rooms.

Of course the official residence of H.M. the Queen is Buckingham Palace where she stays Monday through Friday. It will be here that Prince William and Kate will enjoy a wedding reception hosted by the Queen.

File:Buckingham Palace, London - April 2009.jpg

The palace was originally known as Buckingham House. It was built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705. It was enlarged in the 19th century by architect John Nash and Edward Blore to form three wings around a central courtyard. It became the official royal palace of the British monarchy on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The most recent major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They include the well known balcony upon which the happy couple should make an appearance on.

The original early 19th-century interior design was made on the advice of Sir Charles Long and much of it still survives. King Edward VII had a partial redecoration done in the Belle Époque style featuring a cream and gold color scheme.

Several of the smaller reception rooms feature the Chinese regency style.

Another favorite royal home in London is Kensington Palace. This was once the official residence of Princess Diana and where Prince William primarily lived as a child. Several other royal family members live here today as the palace is somewhat divided into apartments.

The palace was built in the early 17th century for the Earl of Nottingham and was known as Nottingham House. It was acquired by William III in 1689. The house was then extended by the great architect Sir Christopher Wren.   George I spent a good deal to create apartments in 1718 as well as the famous Cupola Room in 1722. 

The state rooms, as well as the magnificent Kings Stairs are open to the public.

I toured Kensington Palace close to ten years ago and was thrilled to see the collection of Princess Diana’s dresses.

One royal residence which Prince William and his new bride Catherine are sure to visit while on honeymoon is Balmoral Castle.

The estate is located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and was originally purchased by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, in 1852. The foundation stone of the castle was placed by Queen Victoria on September 28, 1853. An excellent movie in which Balmoral Castle stars is “Mrs. Brown” with Dame Judy Dench, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Queen Victoria.

Balmoral is the private property of H.M. the Queen and is not part of the Crown owned royal estate. It is primarily used as her summer home as well as her holiday retreat. Because it is privately owned by the Queen there are no public interior images of the castle. Although the film, “The Queen”, for which Helen Mirren won an Oscar, gives us an idea of what the interiors may look like. 

You may also recall when another royal couple spent a portion of their honeymoon there.

Due to the extensive list of royal residences this will be a two part post and will conclude next week with additional castles and estates.

Just a reminder that there is an open invitation to come celebrate at the Bloggers Tea. It will be held at the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree, Arizona. The owner, Joanne Gemmill, is authentically English.


To add a bit of fun there will be ~

A hat contest (Think English feathers, flowers and frippery)

Always a bridesmaid dress contest (And you thought you’d never wear it again!)

A white wedding elephant swap (Bring an item of décor that is nice, but perhaps had humble beginnings in a thrift store or is just something you have grown weary of. Wrap it as if it is the most lovely of wedding gifts.)

For those of you who live beyond and across the pond you will NOT be left out. We will have two online contests to be held via linky parties:

High Tea Tablescapes to be held on February 23rd. Two separate English themed grand prizes will be awarded to the participants who design a tablescape or vignette that is “Fit For A Queen” or “Royally Scrumptious”.


Royal Wedding Wear on March 9th. Got a crazy hat or some really magnificent pearls? Did your wedding dress resemble Diana’s? How about a truly awful bridesmaid dress???? I want to see them!


Start planning your creations as the best of the best will receive English china, chocolate, shortbread, and tea among other lovely prizes. There will be categories such as “Hats Off!”,  “Best British Baubles”, “Perfect Princess or Perfectly Putrid”  awarded by an esteemed panel of judges to be announced in the future.

May your own home be your castle,



cityfarmer said...

I am bamboozled darling ... and a little bummed ... most all of the pictures will not open ...

wish we were neighbors, we could snuggle together for the wedding.

ImagiMeri said...

Hey Girlfriend,

Great post, brings back so many memories of my travels over there. I've posted a piccy and a link for your lovely tea.....still hoping to come.

Love ya'

Mom in High Heels said...

I get so happy when I pull up my dashboard and see RWW! I toured Kensington and Buckingham Palaces a few years ago. I too was excited over the Diana wedding dress display.
I love the photo of the drawing room from Clarence House. It looks so calming and surprisingly comfortable.
Can't wait until next week!

Ann said...

Thanks for taking me down memory lane of places I have visited. Love the history said...

Lady Laura,

I feel like I have my own personal tour guide! This is so interesting and the images are stunning. I especially love the story book look of Balmoral, the gardens of Kensington, the Belle Époque styled room featuring the cream and gold color scheme at Buckingham Palace.
I look forward to your link parties!

Your Friend,
Lady D (as in Deborah)

TRay said...

A beautiful post! I love Kensington, and there is a beautiful orangery there where one can grab a bite to eat and a spot of tea.

Will you be profiling Holyrood next week, too?


--The Pea

Miss Sandy said...

Another wonderful instillation in your royal wedding series. It is hard to grasp the opulence in which the royals live. I wonder if they ever really take notice of the details as we do and gasp over the grandeur or if they are so used to it that the effect is lost on them.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You always research and find such interesting history and pictures. Love reading this series. Hugs, Marty

The Pennington Point said...

I'm blown away. It is hard to imagine that kind of lifestyle. A friend of mine has fallen in love with your royal wedding series and is planning a party to watch the wedding. Now I need a great fun! Lisa~

Terri said...

I am so loving this! Thank you. I am going to participate in all the events the best I can!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

You know I've been going to England since I was a child. Such fond memories of spendng summers there with my Nana. It was just my mother's homeland full of my cousins etc., so it didn't seem like anything extraordinary to me. Anyway, all these trips and I've never toured Buckinham or Kensington, not sure if I even knew you could. Funny. It's like people that live here in AZ and have never seen the Grand Canyon I suppose.

Sherry said...

What fun this Laura! They tea sounds wonderful. I'll have to get working on it.

Vicki said...

I so enjoy looking at the buildings and the rooms within them, thank you for sharing. Can't wait for Pt 2 next week...

Lorrie said...

Love this, along with all the other Wedding posts. The light and airy decor in Clarence House is just beautiful. I can see that it would have suited the Queen Mother.

katecreativesalvage said...


What a wonderful post, I loved it, your research is great, I love all the pictures and cann't wait for the wedding.


Craftymoose Crafts said...

The first time I stayed in London, we were a block away from Kensington Palace, but alas did not tour it. I do remember visiting the gardens which were magnificent to the eye of a 17 year old.

I am loving Wednesdays! Thanks for all the extensive research you are doing & the excellent presentation and photos!

Karena said...

Laura thank you for sharing so many fab images about the Royals with us!!

I wish I could attend you blogger soiree!

A Fabulous giveaway on my site by Splenderosa!

Art by Karena

Sandy said...

Love love love all the information you so kindly report to all of us... I'm a huge fan of the Royals..OMG you do such a fantastic job sharing! Thanks so much.... keep it coming. xoso Sandy O

Deanna said...

Awesome! Outstanding places.

I'd love to see these places in person. Mercy sakes alive.

God bless,

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Thanks for sharing these photos with us! GORGEOUS! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Shirley said...

Dear Laura,
You have such wonderful insight regarding the Royal family. I'm so happy you are sharing it with us, it is most fascinating!
I did purchase a special Commemorative Edition of The Royal Wedding but, I prefere to read yours.

Pat said...

Another great post. I, too, enjoyed the collection of Diana's dresses a number of years ago. The tea sounds like so much fun! Looking forward to more of your royal posts!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, I woke up to computer problems, and I was so distressed that I might not be able to see this today. I just got back online tonight. It would turn on over and over and over and over again, and the geeks got that straightened out... they "think." But I have to get a new keyboard. Sigh. Three weeks! So if that happens, I might not get to do the event on the 23rd. I'm going to try, though.

Thank you again for this. I so enjoy my time with you here. Loved every picture and every word. I miss Diana!


Sheila :-)

Mimi said...

I WILL BE THERE for sure!!!
Dress, I thought I bought the perfect dress, but NOW I think I may wear something much more formal!!!OH MY< is it really allowed!!!A formal dress for a tea luncheon, OH I CANNOT WAIT!!!
HAT, oh my, I must begin my hunt for the perfect hat!!!
love and hugs my dear
I went to an exhibit in Orlando Florida of 12 of diana's dresses and other memorbilia, it was fascinating to say the least!!
you said MArch 9th right???

char72 said...

How interesting. Love all the photos. I went to London in 1997 and again in 1999. I love everything English. I will probably attend the tea. Sounds like fun. Thank you for alerting me to this invitation.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I grabbed the tea button and have it on my blog. I am definitely planning on being there. Can't wait. It should be such fun. Hugs, Marty

TRay said...


William really is a "Sea King!!"

Too funny.


Cherrie said...

Thanks for the invite but I babysit for my grandson so I will not be able to attend :(

Oliva said...

I am really enjoying your "Royal" posts. After Princess Diana's tragic accident, I stopped following the royal comings and made me feel so sad.
BTW..I have added your Tea button and posted it on my blog, and I'm planning on attending the tea party!

Debbie said...

This does sound like fun. Thank you Laura for taking the time to visit Heart Choices and tell me about this. I've been to the English Rose Tea Room and loved it. What a special way to get together with fellow bloggers. I will see if I can make it.

Blessings and love,

Liz said...

Oh Thanks for the reminder! I have been to a couple of the castles to. I would go again in a heartbeat! I still haven't seen Mrs Brown but plan to!


P.S. I will have your button up for the tea party today... I hope some day you'll join me for Fresh-Cut Friday! :)

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Love your beautiful castle and palace images. It's so fun enjoying the "royals" this way. Thanks so much Laura :-)

Privet and Holly said...

Fantastic post ~
I'm in awe of
all your research,
Laura!! I'd take
Balmoral in a
heart beat...sigh...
Loved both of those
movies, too!
Wish I could come
to the tea : )
xx Suzanne

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

that real live tea party sounds absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately I can't make that one but I can make the royal online one. Can't wait! And I am a follower of your wonderful blog. xoxo P.S. I put the tea party button on my blog.

Michele said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a warm comment.
Thank you for the invite to your two parties, I would love to join in on all this splendor.
I will be adding your button to my blog and I will look forward to more royalty.

Mevely317 said...

Sorry to be so remiss, Laura!
Unfortunately, we've out-of-town relatives scheduled to be here ... heck, mebbe I should bring the whole motley crew? ... or not!
Thank you for reaching out!

Nan said...

Hi Laura, Thank you for visiting my blog, Playful Decor. You photos are wonderful! And to see Lady Di's beautiful blue dress again, that's how I remember her. Saw your plan for showing our ugly bridesmaid dresses - which, thankfully, I don't have any! How about a bad hair contest? LOL. And my hair is fixed now -phew! Nan

Joani said...

I luv the tea room. It is such fun & the food is so good. I hope I'll be able to make it. I would luv to meet follow bloggers. Have a great day. Marty told me about this site.

Karen Valentine said...

Hi Laura!
I'm so sorry I won't be able to make it to the tea. I'm going to be in Texas for the Round Top flea market! I'm sure you will all have a wonderful time!!
My Desert Cottage
Valentine Design

Char said...

I am so sorry that I won't be able to attend the tea. I am getting ready for a trip to Puerto Viarta. I will miss everyone. Please be sure to take plenty of photos to share, Char

Bohemian said...

Thank you for visiting my Blog and extending an invitation to the Bloggers Tea, alas, I won't be able to make it this Saturday, it sounds like an amazing time!

Happy Spring... Dawn... The Bohemian