Charles: I won’t live at palace

The Press - - World -

"I know he is no fan of 'the big house', as he calls the palace." Royal source

BRI­TAIN: The Prince of Wales wants to give up Buck­ing­ham Palace as a royal res­i­dence when he be­comes king and is dis­cussing plans to turn it into a more busi­nesslike ‘‘monar­chy HQ’’, say royal in­sid­ers.

The Duke of Cam­bridge is also be­lieved to agree that the palace is too large and costly for mod­ern fam­ily life. Prince Charles thinks it could be made more com­mer­cially vi­able by open­ing it to the pub­lic on a larger scale than is pos­si­ble with the Queen in res­i­dence.

The sources said Charles has told staff he does not in­tend to live at the palace. One said the prince was ‘‘very com­fort­able’’ at Clarence House, his Lon­don home for­merly oc­cu­pied by the Queen Mother, and both he and the Duchess of Corn­wall are be­lieved to be keen to re­main liv­ing there.

‘‘I know he is no fan of ‘the big house’, as he calls the palace,’’ said a source.

‘‘He doesn’t see it as a vi­able fu­ture home or a house that’s fit for pur­pose in the mod­ern world. He feels its up­keep, both from a cost and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­spec­tive, is not sus­tain­able.’’

Staff have had in­for­mal dis­cus­sions over the fu­ture use of the 775-room palace, which is mainly open to vis­i­tors from late July un­til Oc­to­ber while the Queen takes her an­nual break at Bal­moral. Un­der Charles the palace might be­come a mu­seum open for longer pe­ri­ods with an ex­hi­bi­tion ded­i­cated to his mother’s record-break­ing reign.

‘‘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?’’ noted one source. ‘‘That would be a mod­ern ap­proach and he’ll be think­ing along those lines.’’

An­other insider added: ‘‘It makes per­fect sense com­mer­cially to off­set the costs of run­ning such a big place by ex­tend­ing avail­abil­ity to the ticket-buy­ing pub­lic.’’

A Clarence House spokesman said: ‘‘Buck­ing­ham Palace will re­main the of­fi­cial Lon­don res­i­dence of the monarch.’’

A royal source said: ‘‘We have con­tin­ued to say that Kens­ing­ton Palace will be the Duke of Cam­bridge’s res­i­dence through­out the next reign, where­upon he will move into Buck­ing­ham Palace.’’

Bri­tish sov­er­eigns have oc­cu­pied Buck­ing­ham Palace since Queen Vic­to­ria moved there in 1837.

Sources have sug­gested that un­der Charles the palace would con­tinue to host state oc­ca­sions and diplo­matic re­cep­tions and might pro­vide space for his pri­vate of­fice and com­mu­ni­ca­tions team.

- Sun­day Times

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