King Charles and Queen Camilla tap into 2024's most personal design trend in this corner of Clarence House

'Bookshelf Wealth' is changing how we exhibit our favorite possessions – and this royal residence is not immune from its aesthetic

King Charles III and Queen Camilla outside Clarence House
(Image credit: Chris Jackson via Getty Images For Clarence House)

'Bookshelf Wealth' has spent the last three months dominating design discussions and (consequently) influencing how we decorate – and even the royals are not immune to its influence. 

The year's most talked-about trend invites us to curate shelves of books (unsurprisingly) alongside other photos and decor pieces (including heirlooms and souvenirs), meaning every interpretation of the look is unique to the homeowner. 

We've enjoyed browsing various celebrity twists on the Bookshelf Wealth aesthetic, from Celine Dion to Emma Roberts – but a browse through The Royal Family's Instagram shows King Charles and Queen Camilla were ahead of the design trend

In 2020 (yes, nearly four years before the trend came to play), Queen Camilla showed a glimpse inside Clarence House, the home that remains the monarch's official London residence. 

The room, which appears to be a home office, exhibits stacked shelves of books, artworks, vases, and photo frames – all of which nails 'curated clutter' – filling the room with personality without feeling overwhelming. It gives us full permission to celebrate the possessions that are the most personal to us – aka the exact ideology of  Bookshelf Wealth. 

The cream bookshelf appears to fit the nook perfectly (suggesting that it is bespoke), but as Adam Brown, the managing director of The Painted Furniture Company, highlights, we can recreate the look in every space – no matter how compact. As Brown explains, there is a shift from using shelves as 'mere book storage' – ' [they're] becoming elegant feature pieces, serving as showcases for favorite reads and home accessories,' he says. 


Filled bookshelves like the ones in Clarence House.

(Image credit: Future)

'Finding the perfect storage solution for your beloved books can truly transform any space into a literary haven,' Brown explains.

'When it comes to organizing your collection, bookcases are a classic choice that not only provides functionality but can also be styled with personal keepsakes and accessories in any room. Bookcases come in a variety of styles, sizes, and finishes to suit different interiors. Whether you prefer a sleek modern look, rustic charm, or a more traditional feel, there's a bookcase out there to match your taste.'

Of course, we can tap into the look with any shelving unit we choose, but if we're working with a particularly awkward corner, it may be worth investing in a bespoke piece that is sure to impress through the decades. 

'Bespoke bookcases are custom-built to suit any sized space, making them an ideal solution for rooms with unique dimensions or awkward corners. With a bespoke bookcase, you can maximize the available space and create a storage solution that seamlessly integrates into your existing decor,' Brown adds.

'Whether you prefer open shelves to display your books proudly or desire hidden compartments for a more minimalist look, bespoke options allow you to create a storage solution that reflects your individuality.'

Following suit involves the books and pieces that are personal to us, but we can begin with these frames that are perfect for any photos we may want to showcase on our shelves.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.