King Charles May “Never Live” at Buckingham Palace—Here’s Why

For now, he and Queen Consort Camilla remain at Clarence House.

King Charles III
(Image credit: Getty)

It is generally understood that the U.K. monarch lives in Buckingham Palace in London—it was, of course, where Her late Majesty lived during her reign, up until she relocated to Windsor Castle during the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately chose to stay there permanently. (The Palace has been the monarch’s official home as far back as the 1800s.)

Upon King Charles becoming the sovereign on September 8, it was assumed that he and Camilla, Queen Consort would move into the Palace, but, according to The Mirror, that won’t be happening for the “foreseeable future”—if ever. The couple will remain at Clarence House—a short walk from the Palace along The Mall—when in London as the Palace undergoes a massive renovation project that could last as long as 2027. The projects costs are upwards of £369 million.

Because of this, The Sunday Times reports that Charles and Camilla have “no plans” to move out of Clarence House until the renovations are completed, but will still conduct engagements from there, as we’ve seen them do in the first six weeks of their reign.

The outlet reports that, during this time, the Royal Standard will fly at both Buckingham Palace and Clarence House when His Majesty is in London.

But, according to the publication, there are fears that Charles and Camilla may never move to the Palace, even after the renovations are complete in five years’ time—sources who know Charles say he is “very comfortable” at his longtime home of Clarence House, with one adding “he doesn’t see it [Buckingham Palace] as a viable future home or a house that’s fit for purpose in the modern world. He feels that its upkeep, both from a cost and environmental perspective, is not sustainable.”

Buckingham Palace itself commented on the matter, saying “it is expected that the necessary works will be completed for Their Majesties to take up residence in 2027. In the interim period, the Palace will be fully utilized for official business wherever practicable.”

The Palace renovations were announced in 2016, with fixes including electrical wiring, radiators, and skirting board being replaced. The Palace will get new floorboards, and 78 (!) bathrooms will be replaced. At the time, Master of the Queen’s Household Tony Johnstone-Burt said “Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and this program is designed to extend its working life by a further 50 years.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.