Prime Ministers’ Residences Around the World
Being named Prime Minister of a country comes with many responsibilities and expectations, but aside from the all-important aspects, there are also many perks that come with the job. Chauffeur-driven cars and private planes are just a few of the finer things that a Prime Minister gets to enjoy, but the icing on the cake has to be the grand residence that he or she gets to call home during their term, and with no home loans to worry about or grounds maintenance to attend to, it’s the ultimate set-up. Take a closer look at some of the incredible Prime Ministers’ homes around the world.
Vale Royal (Jamaica)
Vale Royal is one of the oldest residences in Kingston and is where the current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, lives. It was built by planter Sir Simon Taylor back in 1694 as was known then as “Prospect Pen”. When the residence was bought by the government in 1928, the home was used to accommodate British Colonial secretaries for many years. It has undergone two refurbishments: one in 1962 and one in 1980. Despite these refurbishments, the Minister of Finance in 1962 refused to move in as he felt it was too small for his needs. The defining feature of the home has to be the lookout tower on the roof that provides views of the Kingston harbour. Vale Royal is not open to the public.
24 Sussex Drive (Canada)
The official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, 24 Sussex Drive is located in New Edinburgh in Ottawa. It was commissioned to be built by Member of Parliament, Joseph Merrill Currier, between 1866 and 1868 as a wedding gift for his future wife. It is one of two official residences, the other being Harrington Lake estate. It has been the official home of Prime Ministers since 1951, after undergoing refurbishment the previous year. The beautiful limestone home boasts 34 rooms spread across four floors and is nestled on the south bank of the Ottawa River. Compared to other state residences, 24 Sussex Drive is almost exclusively a residence, with most of the Prime Minister’s work being carried out at a separate office.
10 Downing Street (United Kingdom)
10 Downing Street, commonly referred to by locals as “Number 10”, is the Headquarters of the British government, and the official home of the Prime Minister, currently David Cameron. Located in the City of Westminster, the famous address is over 300 years old and offers 100 bedrooms. Originally, the residence was three separate buildings which were eventually joined to make one home by William Kent in 1735. The Georgian-style door was originally made from black oak and was designed to be opened from the inside only, whilst the black and white tiled entrance hall is in its original state. There is also a gorgeous back terrace that provides incredible views of St James Park. The artwork displayed at 10 Downing Street is continually changing and the pieces found here are usually on loan from private collectors and public galleries such as the Tate.
7 Race Course Road (India)
Consisting of five bungalows and stretching across 12 acres of land, 7 Race Course Road has been home to the country’s Prime Minister since 1984. The first Prime Minister to move into the complex, known as Panchavati, was Rajiv Gandhi who lived there with his family. The bungalows were originally designed by Robert Torr Russell, who formed part of the British architecture team making design changes in New Delhi in the 20s and 30s. The 15th Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, currently resides at 7 Race Course Road.
Palazzo Chigi (Italy)
Palazzo Chigi is the palace or noble residence of the Prime Minister of the Italian Republic. It’s located in the city of Rome and the current Prime Minster, Matteo Renzi, has lived there since February 2014. This epic residence was built sometime between 1562 and 1580 and became the official residence in 1961. It overlooks the Piazza Colonna, has five floors, a broad, impressive stairway and a fountain in the courtyard that has replicas throughout Rome and other Italian cities.