Prince Charles to turn Buckingham Palace into a museum when he’s king

By @chelean on
Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves as she stands with Prince Charles (L) and Prince William on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London June 5, 2012.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves as she stands with Prince Charles (L) and Prince William on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London June 5, 2012. Reuters/Toby Melville

Prince Charles will not live in the Buckingham Palace when he becomes king, according to a report. Instead, he will allegedly turn Queen Elizabeth II’s residence into a museum.

According to the Sunday Times, Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are said to be “very comfortable” at Clarence House, their official residence in London, and therefore they are not keen to move to “the big house.” But the 68-year-old father of two has more sound reason than personal comfort to stay in their current home.

Sources told the publication that the 775-room fortress is not fit for modern times. Although it is undergoing renovation worth £370 million (AU$627 million), Charles still thought it would be best if he and Camilla remained in Clarence House. He apparently thought that the palace is too large and costly to live in and that it would be more commercially viable as a museum if it is opened to the public.

“What’s to say Buckingham Palace can’t be opened to the public for at least six months while keeping the state rooms pristine for use during big occasions?” a source told the paper. The palace currently opens to the public from July to October while the Queen is in her Scotland estate, the Balmoral Castle. It attracts millions of locals and tourists annually.

Prince William, who is second in line to the throne next to Charles, is said to agree with him. William, Charles’ eldest son, lives with wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, in Kensington Palace.

A spokesman for Clarence House told the Daily Mail, however, “Buckingham Palace will remain the official London residence of the monarch.” A senior royal aide also denied that Charles would be staying at Clarence House when he became king.

Charles wouldn’t be the first monarch not to live in Buckingham Palace, if he indeed opted to stay in Clarence House instead. Queen Victoria, who was the first monarch to reside there in 1837, left Buckingham to live at her other residences in 1861 when her husband, Prince Albert, died.

In 2016, Queen Elizabeth was granted the budget for the palace’s renovation, its first major repair since after World War II. The expensive repair fee would be allocated to the monarch in the period of 10 years. This means she has started receiving an increase of £30 million (AU$50.80 million) annually until 2027.

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