Prince Charles Might Turn Buckingham Palace into a Museum

The move would possibly help “‘justify” the building’s continued existence, according to a royal historian.

london, england august 23 members of the nijmegen company grenadier guards and the 1st battalion the coldstream guards take part in the changing of the guard, which is taking place for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, at the forecourt of buckingham palace on august 23, 2021 in london, england photo by yui mok wpa poolgetty images
(Image credit: WPA Pool)

The times are changing for the royal family, and that means the plans to keep the Firm relevant are getting a little more radical. We’re already seeing the effects of Charles’s reported plan to slim down the monarchy when he finally ascends the throne—it was considered one of the main reasons Archie didn’t receive a royal title when he was born. One of Charles’s friends even admitted that the scandals and backlash facing the royals over the last two years would, on the bright side, help him get to that slimmer family he envisions—one with less lavish spending, more focus on charity, and fewer reasons to be questioned by a British public that’s grown a lot less sympathetic toward the exceedingly wealthy.

london, england december 03 prince charles, prince of wales, is seen during the queen elizabeth prize for engineering at buckingham palace on december 03, 2019 in london, england photo by chris jacksongetty images

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

So with that as a backdrop, this new rumor that Buckingham Palace might be turned into a museum during Charles’s reign seems...maybe a little less shocking? It comes from Express, which spoke to Dr. Anna Whitelock, a royal historian who had some thoughts about where the 26 royal estates the family still owns might end up in the future. According to Dr. Whitelock:

She cites the fact that some of the rooms of Buckingham Palace were opened up to the public, in order to raise money for repairs after a 1992 fire that destroyed over 115 rooms of Windsor Castle. It wouldn’t be a huge stretch to turn Buckingham Palace into a more public place, rather than a royal residence—the members of the family mostly spend time in their other homes (the Queen lives at Windsor), so for years it’s been used primarily to house the Queen’s head offices and host events.

Dr. Whitelock says these are questions that will likely come up “at the start” of Charles’s reign. If he does go forward with it, sign us up for a guided tour.