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 (opens in new tab) 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
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.