Heritage

Peek Inside Prince Charles and Camilla's Private Library on a New Virtual Tour of Clarence House

Even Google is getting in on Prince Charles's 70th birthday celebrations.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / JEFF SPICER
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Many would balk at the idea of presenting their private home to the entirety of the internet—but if you're a royal residing in a historic mansion, perhaps it's not as frightening.

That's just what Prince Charles did on the eve of his 7oth birthday. The Prince of Wales teamed with Google Arts and Culture, the tech company's art historical initiative, to provide virtual tours of his residence, Clarence House.

The virtual views themselves are immersive, and include the kind of high-resolution detail that we've come to expect of VR. Users can explore seven total spaces in the house, from the Entrance Hall to the Garden Room. No bedrooms are included—perhaps even spare bedrooms felt too private to share.


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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall host a tea for veterans, widows, and members of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association at Clarence House in 2016.

Though obviously staged, there's still something homey about the rooms. In the Library, the table is set for tea, including plates with everything from cucumber sandwiches and cake to lemon slices and jam. And in the Garden Room, a group of family portraits clustered atop the piano—including a newly-revealed photo of Charles holding Prince George—feels like an arrangement any proud parent might compose.

But the virtual tour is just the beginning. Google has also gathered 197 images of the Prince of Wales and the royal family, and organized four digital "stories" about different aspects of his life. Together, the materials paint a picture of Charles' life from early childhood to today.

One story of particular interest is "The Prince's Watercolors." Users can explore Charles' watercolor artwork, and learn the stories behind them. One recent piece, the "Castle of Mey," depicts the late Queen Mother's home in Caithness, Scotland. As Charles explains earlier in the story, his grandmother encouraged his artistic proclivities. "It was my grandmother probably who inspired me, or encouraged me to look, and observe," he said.

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And now that he's given the public the chance, they'll be looking and observing right back, likely probing every detail of his life and home.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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