The monarchy is extremely popular, of course, and a living monument to British history. But there are some uncomfortable truths about it, too. At a time when the world is facing intense income inequality and a spike in authoritarianism that puts democracies in peril, it would be...understandable to question why so many British tax dollars (well, pounds) are going to a family that gets to live in literal palaces, plural, all because it was voted into office by—*checks notes*—um, God. Well, Prince Charles understands that people might be thinking about these things. And that’s why he reportedly intends, as King, to continue to slim down the monarchy and make it maneuverable, modern, and focused on the charitable endeavors that it does best. We’ve already reported on the speculation that he might turn Buckingham Palace into a museum that the public (which, again, is paying for it) can enjoy. Now, royal sources claim that Charles may decommission Kensington Palace, too.
According to the Daily Mail, speculation about Kensington Palace’s fate have grown ever since Harry and Meghan moved to the U.S. That’s because Apartment 1 of the palace, a 21-room living space that underwent tens of millions of dollars in refurbishments, was intended for them—and it’s been empty for three years. Kind of a waste of space, right? Prince Charles reportedly thinks so.
Rumors that there is general disinterest in the space are coupled with speculation that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and the children intend to move to Windsor full-time. While several other royals—including the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent—still live in the apartments, as does a majority of the royal staff, the source told the publication, “Charles is always talking about a slimmed-down monarchy. They could sell off the rest on long leases and generate some income.”
The property is reportedly worth somewhere in the neighborhood of £620 million, making it prime real estate. A second source quoted by the Mail added, “Apartment 1 is in great condition and Charles would be wise to make a show of getting a market rate for it. If the Cambridges relocate, it seems likely the few remaining Royals will be obliged to move on.”
The publication also quoted historian Christopher Warwick, who said, “Whispers that Kensington Palace's days as an official residence are numbered are a pointer to how many changes we are going to see when Charles becomes King. He would be wise to rent it out and hold it in reserve should he need to accommodate any Royals down the line.”
Should apartments in the palace, which has housed royals for over 300 years, become available, we’re down to throw our names on a lease. How much do you think those apartments would go for? Anyone want to go halfsies?
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