In a break with tradition, King Charles III is not expected to make the move to Buckingham Palace, the seat of the British monarchy, despite his new role as Monarch.
The decision was one of the first made by the king after his ascension, with the King and Queen consort instead choosing one of their smaller preferred royal residences as their primary dwelling. The decision is one of many steps taken by the king as he aims to continue the modernization of the monarchy in the 21st century, something that his mother, Elizabeth II began the process of as early as her coronation in 1952.
A royal insider reported that the King did not believe the palace was ‘fit for purpose in the modern world’ with the monarch unable to see the palace as ‘a viable future home.’
The choice of Clarence House
While the new King and Queen Consort will divide their time between three properties, Clarence House has become a firm favorite and shall remain the primary residence for the couple as they assume their new duties. Having moved into the home in 2003, the four-story stucco-faced home has been a site of refuge for the couple for many years, hosting close family such as son Prince William before his marriage in 2011, and his brother Harry.
Just a short walk away from the Palace, the Regency-era property itself was built in 1825 by James Nash for the Duke of Clarence, the property’s namesake. Since its creation, the property has continued to pass down through the royal generations, once being the home of both Queen Victoria’s mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Queen Elizabeth II’s mother. Interestingly, the home became the center of the Red Crosses’ efforts during World War II, making it a stand-out piece of British history all-round.
King Charles’ preference for the home is not a new phenomenon, however, with his Mother and Father, Prince Phillip, also wishing to remain in the home following Elizabeth II’s succession in the 1950s. At that point, however, the pressure to follow tradition and make the move to Buckingham was much stronger and so the royal couple moved shortly after the coronation.
The new King will also spend time at Windsor Castle and Sandringham House throughout the week, however, it is suspected that the couple will often slip away to their private residence Highgrove House, a property bought by the King in 1980 which has since been the home to many of his and Camilla’s gardening exploits.
The future of Buckingham Palace
Although the new king has little interest in moving into the palace anytime soon, it will remain a key emblem of the monarchy and will be used for affairs of the state wherever practicable.
What’s more, with the royals not planning on moving to the home anytime soon, it is believed that more of the palace will soon be opened up to the public, expanding the existing tours into areas previously unseen by general visitors.
Buckingham Palace is also currently undergoing mass renovations, the largest and most detailed since World War II involving a complete rework of wiring, pipes, and heating systems to bring the 319-year-old Palace up to modern standards. The work is not due to be complete until 2027, with the renovations costing the British Taxpayer approximately $423 million.
One thing is for sure, this is the start of a very new era of the monarchy.