Prince Charles may not live at Buckingham Palace when he is King, a new report has suggested. According to The Sunday Times, the first-in-line to the throne has plans to make the palace a more business-like "monarchy HQ". Sources suggest he would continue to host state banquets, diplomatic receptions and the like at Buckingham Palace, and may even provide space for his private office and communications team, but that he and his wife Camilla would remain at Clarence House, his London home formerly occupied by the Queen Mother.
There are also murmurs that Charles, 68, would open the palace to the public on a larger scale, to make it more commercially viable. The Queen's official residence is currently open to visitors from July to October while the monarch holidays in Balmoral, Scotland, but Charles reportedly intends to open it for longer periods, with an exhibition dedicated to his mother's record-breaking reign.
"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."
Prince William, 35, is said to agree with his father that the 775-room palace is too large and costly for modern family life. "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?" another source said. "That would be a modern approach and he'll be thinking along those lines."
No major changes to the running of the palace are expected while the Queen is alive. A Clarence House spokesperson has made it clear that "Buckingham Palace will remain the official London residence of the monarch" while another royal source said Prince William and Kate will move into Buckingham Palace during William's reign.
The report comes amid rumours of an internal rift at the palace between senior courtiers at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, over how to manage the transition of power between the Queen and her son Charles when he takes the throne. However both royal households have since released a statement, saying: "The Prince of Wales and the entire Royal Family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever way they can at Her Majesty's request."