Charles now has to choose where he’s going to live as monarch (Picture: Getty)
Having been appointed to a role that has been 70 years in the making, King Charles III’s ascension to the throne now begs the question: just where will our new monarch rule from?
Queen Elizabeth II spent the majority of her reign here, with additional residences in Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Sandringham – but chose to relocate entirely to Windsor Castle in Berkshire (thought to be her favourite English home), after the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
However, although King Charles III has previously asserted that he intended to live in Buckingham Palace when he took to the throne, many have doubted whether it would come to fruition as the new monarch isn’t thought to be particularly keen on the property.
Well-placed sources have seen Charles complain Buckingham Palace is ‘too large, too impersonal and too draughty’ to be his base.
And in his 2011 book, The Diamond Queen, respected broadcaster Andrew Marr claimed The King may use Buckingham Palace as more of a function centre and museum for tourists as opposed to his actual living quarters.
Buckingham Palace is the usual residence for the monarch (Picture: Daniel LEAL / POOL / AFP for Getty Images)
King Charles III welcomed new PM Rishi Sunak at Buckingham Palace (Picture: Aaron Chown/PA)
‘One of the more dramatic ideas that has been discussed is for the royal family in his reign to leave Buckingham Palace entirely, leaving it as a kind of grand official government hotel and centre for events,’ Marr wrote. ‘The King would base himself not in London but at Windsor Castle.’
Currently, the Palace is undergoing a major renovation – which may have played a role in The Queen’s move to Windsor Castle in the later years of her life, along with husband Prince Philip.
However, Charles isn’t thought to be particularly keen on Windsor Castle either, due to its close proximity to Heathrow Airport and its flight paths.
Charles is not thought to be too fond of Windsor Castle, as it is directly underneath Heathrow Airport’s flight path (Picture: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
So, where could Charles choose to take charge? After all, the royal family has no shortage of properties available for him to take up permanent residence.
Thought to be one of The King’s favourite places to live is Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, which was purchased on his behalf by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1980. It was somewhere Charles spent a lot of time as Prince of Wales, particularly when his sons, Princes William and Harry, were young.
Bought from Conservative MP Maurice Macmillan, it was at Highgrove that Charles fostered his love for nature and the environment, transforming the gardens to make the grounds beautiful, blossoming meadows.
The Queen was also thought to be particularly fond of Windsor Castle, in Berkshire. (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Charles’s favourite residence is thought to be Highgrove House (Picture: Press Association)
While Charles was appointed a ‘tenant for life’ when he received the house, in a strange quirk of succession, Highgrove House has now been passed on to Prince William, who inherited the property when Charles passed on the Duchy to him upon news of The Queen’s death. In technical terms, that would make Prince William The King’s landlord, should he choose to stay at Highgrove House.
However, it’s unlikely that the new Prince of Wales will be ready to serve Charles III with a no-fault eviction notice, as new Queen Consort, Camilla, isn’t thought to be particularly enamoured with Highgrove.
While Charles’s ex-wife, the late Princess Diana, was said to have also ‘hated’ Highgrove, due to its association with his affair with Camilla, the new Queen sees the property as actually being too closely associated with Diana.
‘She would not be sad to see Highgrove go,’ royal biographer Penny Juror has explained. ‘She has no great fondness for it at all. Of course she loves the garden and everything. But it is Diana’s house. It is not hers.’
Charles and Diana spent a lot of their weekends at Highgrove, when their sons Harry and William were young (Picture: Getty Images)
The King’s favourite residence is said to be Highgrove House, but his Queen Consort is thought to be less keen (Picture: Geoff Pugh – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Another option for Charles to consider is Clarence House, near St James’s Palace in London. He inherited the house from The Queen Mother after she died in 2002, and royal sources have indicated that he would prefer to keep living there and travel to Buckingham Palace for official duties when necessary.
It was previously reported that the new King was considering passing Clarence House to Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex – however, their decision to step back from royal duties and move to America in 2020 may mean it is now unlikely the property will be picked up by Charles’s youngest son.
There are also the Royal Family’s Scottish properties to consider, with the question of what will happen to Balmoral now being asked. Charles has his own residence on the site, Birkhall, on the estate, which he is thought to have described: ‘a unique haven of cosiness and character’.
Birkhall, tucked away on the Balmoral Estate, is another beloved property of King Charles III (Picture: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla could also stay at Clarence House, another residence in London (Picture: HANDOUT/CLARENCE HOUSE/AFP via Getty Images)
However, it has been proposed that the new King is considering turning part of Balmoral into a museum dedicated to his late mother, who liked to spend her summer holidays there.
It was at Balmoral that The Queen passed away peacefully earlier this month.
As the former Prince of Wales, Charles also has a small Welsh cottage, Llwynywermod, that he could now choose to pass to Prince William – although the new heir to the throne has recently moved into Adelaide Cottage, Windsor, having just settled his three children into new schools in the Berkshire area.
On the balance of probabilities, it’s likely that King Charles may (rather reluctantly) move into Buckingham Palace.
With the historic building going through a costly £369 million renovation, in the hope of more of it being opened up to the public, it may not be an immediate move for our new King and his Queen Consort.
However, as a passionate environmentalist who has previously announced plans to move forward with a slimmed down monarchy, Charles may choose to be a more centrally focused and potentially more cost-effective monarch, cutting back on visits to other properties and making the royals’ central base his permanent residence.
‘[The King] is firmly of the view that it is the most distinct symbol of the monarchy in the heart of the nation’s capital and therefore it must be his home,’ a royal insider has suggested.
‘He also thinks it would be strange to have Buckingham Palace without royals living there.’
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King Charles III’s ascension to the throne now begs the question of just where will he rule from?