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Inside the lavish London hideaway loved by King Charles and Queen Camilla amid his cancer fight

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The beloved home of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Clarence House is one of the smaller regal residences and something of a hidden gem.

Nestled in the heart of London on The Mall, it is an oasis of calm amid the busy streets of Westminster, with secluded gardens in the shadow of neighbouring St James’s Palace.The house, built in 1825-27, was designed by architect John Nash for Prince William Henry, the Duke of Clarence – later King William IV.

It has since been primarily used as a residence for senior royals. It is currently occupied by King Charles and Queen Camilla until renovations at Buckingham Palace are completed, but is probably still best remembered as the London home of the Queen Mother, who lived there from 1953 until her death in 2002.

For half a century, the green-fingered royal - it was the Queen Mother who first turned King Charles on to the delights of gardening - put her stamp on the four-storey mansion’s gardens, turning them into the rich floral oasis they are today. “It’s a lovely little walled urban sanctuary,” says royal gardening author George Plumptre. “The gardens are quite shady because there are enormous plane trees running along them, but what makes it nice is that it stretches from the front of Clarence House along the front of the adjacent St James’s Palace.” The gardens are an enchanting mixture of formal and informal, marrying manicured lawns with relaxed flowerbeds that change colour with the season.Think classic English country garden, in the heart of the capital.

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