Apparently Prince Charles wants to live in a ‘flat above a shop’ when he’s king


Prince Charles wants to live in a ‘flat above a shop’ when he’s king


Nothing surprises us anymore when it comes to the Royal Family.

From the time Prince William went undercover at MI5, to the Queen's weird morning wake-up call music, their blood may be blue, but the royals have just as many unexpected quirks as the rest of us.

Case in point: the fact that Prince Charles wants to live in a "flat above a shop" when he becomes King.

Yep, despite having Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the 50,000 acre Balmoral Estate at his disposal, apparently, the first in line to the throne would be perfectly content living in a more humble residence – and he thinks that the rest of the Royal Family should join him.

As per The Daily Mail, Prince Charles has plans to drastically reduce the royal estate when he succeeds to the throne. (Though we're guessing that the tabloid's source is somewhat overshooting when they say the royal would be happy living in a flat.)

The royal source revealed that the Prince of Wales wants to reduce the monarch's living quarters at Buckingham Palace, and open up more of the space to the public. He also, apparently, has plans to convert Balmoral Castle – widely thought to be one of the Queen's favourite residences – into a museum.

As it stands, Buckingham Palace has 52 royal and guest bathrooms, and 188 staff bedrooms. Although there are public tours of the State Rooms and the Garden, it's reportedly in Prince Charles' dramatic plans to open much more of the space to tourists.

"The Prince of Wales strongly believes that these places have got to deliver something for the public beyond just being somewhere for members of the Royal Family to live," the source told the publication. "Everything is seen through the lens of the question: 'What value is this offering to the public?'"

The insider added, "Despite what everybody thinks about him not wanting to live there, he will certainly have accommodation there – but it will be a much more modest flat-above-the-shop situation akin to that of the Prime Minister at Downing Street."

Why not just open the entire palace to the public then, you ask?

"Both the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall are very practical and see that the reigning Monarch must live at Buckingham Palace," the source explained, "otherwise it would become like Hampton Court – a visitor attraction rather than a working royal palace."

Maintaining Buckingham Palace also has something to do with the Cambridge children, the source revealed.

"Everybody recognises it makes no sense to run so many residences but if you give them up entirely you will never get them back when Prince George and the younger Royals grow up and need somewhere to live."

In the meantime though, Charles would like to see his elder grandchildren move to Windsor Castle – a move the Cambridges are already reportedly considering.

"Charles is not keen on Windsor because it is quite noisy," the said, adding that the Cambridges would be much better suited there instead.

Royal house swap, anyone?

Kate McCusker

Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.