What next with the empty Buckingham Palace? ‘Unloved’ royal residence could be relegated to a VIP guest house or art gallery, while King Charles plans to stay at Clarence House
- The 775-room palace in Westminister is seen as ‘unfit’ for modern life
- It could be used as a public art gallery and ‘presidential guest house’ in the future
Buckingham Palace could be opened up as a ‘gallery’ or ‘presidential guest house’ under King Charles’s plans to move into another royal residence.
The 775-room palace in Westminster, London, is reportedly viewed as ‘unfit’ for modern life by King Charles, who would prefer to stay at Clarence House during his reign.
It’s because King Charles is expected to introduce a “skimmed-down” monarchy that is cheaper and has fewer working royals.
But the palace, which has 19 state rooms, 240 bedrooms, 78 bathrooms and 92 offices, could instead open as an art gallery to showcase “one of the world’s largest private art collections.”
It could also be used as ‘Monarchy HQ’ and official guest house where people could stay on ‘state visits’.
The 775-room palace in Westminster, London, is reportedly seen as ‘unfit’ for modern life by King Charles, who would prefer to stay at Clarence House during his reign
A source close to the king told the Sunday Times: ‘He likes Clarence House, is rather frugal and wouldn’t want to bring in an interior designer to redo Buckingham Palace for him.
“People who come to Britain for state visits expect to stay in Buckingham Palace so that it can become a gallery and a guest house for presidents.”
The source added: ‘The Royal Collection is one of the world’s largest private art collections and it would be a fantastic way to showcase it more widely.’
Traditionally, the state rooms and gardens are open to the public for only ten weeks a year, from July to October when the late Queen was at Balmoral.
The private art collection includes work by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and Vermeer, among others.
And the palace is six years into a ten-year, £369 million taxpayer-funded renovation.
The private art collection includes work by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and Vermeer, among others
Traditionally, the state rooms and gardens are open to the public for only ten weeks a year, from July to October. Pictured: The Palace Ballroom, used for state banquets
The palace is six years into a ten-year, £369 million taxpayer-funded renovation. In the photo: the white lounge
The building needs an “urgent refurbishment” to avoid the risk of fire, flood and damage, as the electrics, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s, ministers said.
In 2020, a two-minute video shared on the royal family’s Instagram account showed 19th-century wallpaper being carefully removed ‘piece by piece’ from the yellow drawing room as part of work on the east wing.
The wallpaper was ‘preserved and preserved’ by experts before being re-hung in the beautiful reception room at the front of the palace.
In the video, wallpaper curator Allyson McDermott explains, “We are removing the beautiful wallpaper, 19th century Chinese wallpaper, bit by bit. We then bring it back to our studios to preserve and preserve it for the future.
She continued, “This is the perfect time. The paper needs urgent maintenance. It’s very acidic, very fragile. It’s a wonderful opportunity to do that while all the work is being done around the palace.’
The building needs an ‘urgent overhaul’ to prevent the risk of fire, flooding and damage from the electricity. In the photo: the yellow drawing room of Buckingham Palace