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A grace-and-favour home is a residential property owned by a monarch by virtue of his or her position as head of state and leased, often rent-free, to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered.

It is possible that the term crept into English through the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote of advisers who are ministers per grazia e concessione, which has been translated as "through grace and favour".[1]

In the United Kingdom, these homes are owned by The Crown or a charity and, in modern times, are often within the gift of the Prime Minister. Most of these properties are taxed as a "benefit in kind", although this status does not apply to 10 Downing Street or any home granted for security purposes, such as the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.[2] They are at times granted to senior politicians.[3]


List of some grace-and-favour residences in the United KingdomEdit


In 1986, there were 120 apartments total. The most splendid are at Kensington Palace where lived the Prince of Wales, and Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Prince and Princess of Kent. There are some at Windsor Palace, and Buckingham Palace where lived the Princess Alice. St James's Palace had 20 apartments. Lord Kitchener once lived there, as did the Duke of Windsor. Most apartments are modest, some two rooms, inhabited mostly by retired members of the household staff. Hampton Court apartments were generally occupied by retired soldiers and diplomats or their widows. Grace and favour apartments have been discontinued at Hampton Court. There were once 69. In 1986, this had dwindled to 15.[4]

Frogmore Cottage was once used as a grace and favour residence for Abdul Karim, but was renovated in 2018 by Duke and Duchess of Sussex who subsequently moved into it in the spring of 2019.[5]

Other residents include:

Northern IrelandEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rossiter, William T. (2014). Wyatt Abroad: Tudor Diplomacy and the Translation of Power. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 192. ISBN 9781843843887.
  2. ^ BBC NEWS | Politics | What are grace-and-favour homes?
  3. ^ "Critics welcome Dorneywood move". BBC News.
  4. ^ Jo Thomas (12 April 1986). "Living in a castle by royal favor". New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  5. ^