Grace and favour

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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. Some are owned by UK charitable trusts.[citation needed]

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 Kingdom[edit]


Northern Ireland[edit]



See also[edit]


  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.