What is this Grace & Favor?

Grace and favour

A Grace & Favour home is a residential property owned by the Queen and leased rent-free to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered. Some are owned by UK charitable trusts.

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

Over the next few weeks we will post on some notable British Grace & Favor properties. This week:

number 10Number 10 Downing St


The best known grace-and-favour home, is traditionally reserved for the prime minister.

Sir Robert Walpole was the first prime minister to live in No 10 when he moved there in 1735.

The house was offered as a personal gift by George II – Walpole rejected the offer but accepted the house as the official residence for holders of the post.

No 11 Downing Street has been the official home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1828 – below is the fascinating ground floor plan of the 2 residences and some interior images…