Inside Downing Street’s many makeovers — with a mirrored gym and £2k wallpaper

Prime Minister Keir Starmer and wife Victoria gesture to waiting media outside the door of 10 Downing Street, London, UK on 4th July 2024

Keir and Victoria will be moving into Downing Street with their children. (Picture: TS/

There have been many changes at Downing Street over the years – and we’re not just talking about the time we had three different Prime Ministers in a matter of months.

In a historic turn of events, Keir Starmer’s Labour Party won the 2024 General Election by a landslide, marking the first time they have been in power for 14 years.

As the next few weeks unfold, there will be lots going on at Number 10, as Rishi Sunak and his family vacate the property to make way for Starmer, his wife Victoria and their two children.

The famous address has been the official residence of the British Prime Minister since 1735, however, not every PM has chosen to live there.

Over the years some have opted to move into the living quarters above the next door Number 11 instead, as the four-bedroom flat there, which is normally the home of the Chancellor, is bigger than Number 10.

This happened most notably in 1997 when Tony Blair took office, and he decided to swap apartments with his Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

A number of Prime Ministers have opted to live at Number 11 as it’s bigger. (Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

David Cameron also decided to move into Number 11 when he was in charge, as did Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Both homes have seen a number of big interior design changes over the years, with Rishi and wife Akshata Murty making the most recent changes. 

A total of £30,000 is available to the prime minister as an annual allowance to be spent on their living quarters, and some have ended up spending much more than this.

Here’s a closer look at how much some of the big refurbishments have cost and what they entailed…

Rishi Sunak – 2022-2024 — total unknown

The Sunaks refurbished Number 10 when they first moved into the flat when Rishi was Chancellor. The price they spent on doing this hasn’t been disclosed, although it is thought to have been substantial, and all covered by the family.

A report by Tatler claimed that the refurb included bringing in ‘exquisite fabrics, including fine damask from Challis Interiors in Richmond’. The same company worked on the family house in Yorkshire.

Upholsterer John Challis told the publication: ‘We made long, fully interlined curtains for all five windows overlooking the garden [at Number 10], hand-pleated and held back with heavy coordinating tassels in red, gold and the ivory of the damask.

‘The ornate cornicing was hand-gilded, as it would have been originally, and a rug was commissioned to almost fill the room. Akshata was very involved and keen to see how things are made. She is also not afraid of getting stuck in and helping either.’

John continued to say that there were ‘opulent’ curtains in entrance areas, window seats in most rooms, and velvet sofas in …read more

Source:: Metro


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *