…By Larry John for TDPel Media.
With King Charles and the Prince of Wales in agreement, Buckingham Palace is deemed unsuitable for modern family life.
The palace, boasting 19 state rooms, 240 bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, and 92 offices, is set to see a significant change in its usage.
King Charles intends to spend most of his time at Clarence House, his long-standing London residence situated next to St James’s Palace and a short distance from Buckingham Palace.
This shift in the royal family’s residence opens up the possibility of transforming Buckingham Palace and potentially allowing public access to areas previously off-limits.
The Belgian Suite, where foreign heads of state often stay and where Princes Andrew and Edward were born, holds particular interest.
Moreover, the palace displays artwork by renowned artists such as Canaletto, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, and Vermeer.
While the palace may still be utilized for hosting foreign dignitaries and state events, there is speculation that it will be more accessible to the public.
Simon Thurley, former chief executive of English Heritage and current chairman of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, anticipates increased openness during King Charles’s reign.
He suggests weaving the opening hours around the palace’s existing obligations, praising the palace’s well-established infrastructure, including a shop and the excellent Queen’s Gallery.
Availability of Buckingham Palace for Public Access
Currently, guided tours are offered to explore Buckingham Palace, focusing on the State Rooms.
Exclusive Guided Tours are available on selected dates during winter, spring, and a 10-week period in summer, but advanced booking is necessary.
Visitors can marvel at highlights such as the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room, the Ballroom, the Grand Staircase, and the Palace Gardens.
However, these tours only provide access to a fraction of the palace, as there are 19 state rooms and 240 bedrooms, including the private apartments that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip favored for many years.
The potential transformation of Buckingham Palace and its increased accessibility to the public signify a shift in the royal family’s priorities and acknowledgment of the changing times.
The decision to primarily reside at Clarence House aligns with the need for a more suitable and practical family home.
It also presents an opportunity to repurpose Buckingham Palace and offer visitors an expanded experience beyond the limited State Room tours currently available.
The suggestion that certain private areas could be opened to the public generates intrigue and excitement.
The Belgian Suite, in particular, holds historical significance and appeals to the public’s interest in royal heritage.
The palace’s impressive art collection further enhances its potential as a cultural attraction.
The comments by Simon Thurley, an expert in heritage and conservation, support the idea of increased public access.
His mention of the palace’s existing infrastructure, such as the shop and the Queen’s Gallery, highlights the groundwork already in place for facilitating visitor engagement.
The existing guided tours provide a glimpse into the grandeur of Buckingham Palace, but the limited access to only a fraction of its rooms leaves visitors wanting more.
By opening up additional sections, the palace can satisfy public
The potential changes in Buckingham Palace indicate a willingness to adapt and embrace a more inclusive approach, aligning with the modern expectations of a monarchy that engages with the public and embraces cultural heritage.