From the Queen’s secret ‘booze tunnel’ beneath St James’s Palace (yep, it’s officially a thing), to Harry and Meghan’s Thanksgiving invitation from Snoop Dogg, safe to say that when it comes to the Royal Family, nothing really surprises us anymore.
So when it was recently revealed that Prince Charles would be more than content living “in a flat above a shop”, despite having oh, I don’t know, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the 50,000 acre Balmoral Estate at his disposal, an eyelid was barely batted.
As reported in the Mail on Sunday, the Prince of Wales has some pretty big plans in store for when he succeeds to the throne – among them, vastly reducing the royal estate.
A source close to the royals told the paper of Charles’s plans to live more humbly; reducing the monarch’s living quarters at Buckingham Palace, and opening up more space to the public. The future king also apparently has plans to convert Balmoral Castle –widely believed to be one of the Queen’s favourite residences – into a museum.
Additionally, the insider source revealed that the Prince of Wales would prefer to keep his Gloucestershire home instead of taking up residence at Windsor Castle. (Though that might change if the Cambridge family do, in fact, decide to move closer to the Queen, as is currently being reported.)
“Charles is not keen on Windsor because it is quite noisy,” the source said. “His view is that if he’s heading to Windsor, he may as well carry on to Highgrove in Gloucestershire.”
Interestingly, this means that Charles may have to start paying his eldest son, Prince William, around £700,000 per year in rent. (As you do.)
This is because Highgrove House, which is located in the Cotswolds, is part of the Duchy of Cornwall estate – a private estate that was established in 1337 by Edward III in order to provide independence to his son and heir.
When Prince Charles succeeds to the throne, the title and the estate associated with the title, The Duchy of Cornwall, will automatically be inherited by Prince William.
So, if Prince Charles does choose to stay at Highgrove House, he may have to pay his son a pretty hefty annual rent bill.
While it’s not clear whether William will actually charge his father (or indeed, if Charles will be king anytime soon), if Charles does have to foot the bill, we’re guessing William will cut him a pretty decent discount.