Executive privileges – palaces of power

Where do the world’s most powerful people live? In most countries, the head of state or leading politicians are given grace and favour residences that have become emblematic of their government. From the White House to Number 10 Downing Street, the Kremlin to Zhongnanhai, executive mansions are fascinating insights into the history and self-image of nations. Here are a few of my favourites. 

There are a huge number of perks that come with being President of the United States of America but perhaps the most prestigious is having 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 as your home address. The White House, as the executive mansion of the United States is more usually known, is one of the world’s most iconic presidential pads.

South Portico of the White House at Christmas By Susan Sterner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the world of executive mansions, the White House’s famous façade is only rivaled by Number 10 Downing Street’s shiny black door. Both Number 10 and the White House are so famous that they’ve become metonyms, their names frequently employed as journalistic shorthand to refer to the executive branches of the UK and the USA respectively.

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