King Charles does not plan to live at Buckingham Palace and could turn historic residence into museum
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Plans under consideration for Buckingham Palace include turning it into a museum, art gallery or VIP guest house, according to royal sources. King Charles does not plan on living at the 775 room palace and will reportedly remain at Clarence House.
The king could make Buckingham Palace more accessible to the public, turning it into “a more commercial domain” it has been speculated. Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a £369 million taxpayer-funded refurbishment after ministers said the building required an "urgent overhaul" to avoid potential fires or flood damage due to the electrics, plumbing and heating not having been upgraded since the 1950s.
Historically, the Buckingham Palace state rooms and gardens have been open to the public for a 10-week period, from July to October, while the late Queen Elizabeth II spent the summer at her Scottish residence, Balmoral. The palace is currently home to one of the world's most impressive art collections including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and Vermeer and opening it up could attract tourists to see the impressive art.
Paintings by Canaletto and Gainsborough adorn the Belgian Suite, where foreign heads of state often stay, and where Princes Andrew and Edward were born.
A royal source told The Times: “He likes it at Clarence House, he’s quite frugal and wouldn’t want to get an interior designer in to redo Buckingham Palace for him. People who come to Britain on state visits expect to stay at Buckingham Palace, so it could become a gallery and presidents’ guesthouseIt.
“It’s such a cavernous place that you could fit things in so that nobody noticed each other. The Royal Collection is one of the world’s great private art collections and it would be a fantastic way to have it be seen more widely.
"They wouldn’t need to look outside for loans: they could put on a lifetime of exhibitions just from the collection.”
Simon Thurley, chairman of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and former chief executive of English Heritage, told the paper: “I would absolutely anticipate it being open more under the king than it was before.
“It is pretty well set up, it has a good shop and the Queen’s Gallery is excellent. It is a case of weaving opening hours around what has to happen there.”