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An oil painting of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales are returning to the Palace in an open carriage pulled by two grey horses; in the garden, on the left, the Prince of Wales is conversing to a couple in

Their history, form and function

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The Royal Family in the garden at Clarence House 1951

RCIN 2808643

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Clarence House became the home of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh after their marriage in 1947. They moved in after essential refurbishment had been carried out, in 1949. This photograph taken in 1951 captures them in the garden of their home with their young family. Prince Charles is seated with his parents on a rug, while Princess Anne explores the grass. The garden retains the extensive lawn and deep flower beds around the edge of the garden which can be seen in Joseph Nash Junior’s watercolour almost a century earlier. The family were to live at the house only for another year. The death of King George VI in 1952 and Princess Elizabeth’s accession as Queen, meant a move to Buckingham Palace, and Clarence House became the London home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother until her death in 2002.

During Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s time, the garden became an extension of the house over the summer months. At receptions, the Garden Room on the ground floor along the south front would have its windows and doors opened wide so that guests could circulate between the garden and the house, with flowers filling the rooms. In 2002, the house became the official London Residence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who has introduced organic methods of managing the garden, and created a new garden planted opposite the front door of the house, in memory of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Here, a sundial sits at the centre of a York Stone path in a cruciform shape, creeping thymes planted in the gaps between the stones, with box edging. Lavender ‘Imperial Gem’ and ‘The Prince’ a dark red rose fill the new garden’s borders.