One of the biggest fake scandals in royal gossip in 2019 was about the cost of the Frogmore Cottage renovation, which came in at around $3 million. Keep in mind, the Queen often gifts certain run-down properties to her relations because she needs an excuse to renovate and do some proper upkeep. Kensington Palace Apartment 1 was given to the Cambridges for a similar reason – renovations needed to be done, so she handed it off to the Cambridges. What was remarkable about the fuss over the Frogmore Cottage reno was that SO many people were upset about it and behaved like it was the first time any royal had ever used public funds to renovate a public property for royal use. There was also a racial/racist undercurrent to the criticism, like how dare Meghan specifically get to live in a home renovated by public funding.
So what will the reaction be to this news? Prince Charles’ London residence, Clarence House, is apparently in dire need of some renovations and repairs. The reno cost will reportedly be very expensive.
Prince Charles’s official London residence is set for a costly makeover in the New Year. Royal staff have applied for permission to carry out an urgent ‘major repair programme’ on Clarence House, which dates from the early 19th Century. The works will be paid for from the Government’s annual Sovereign Grant to the Queen, set at £86 million next year.
In planning documents submitted to the City of Westminster Council, architects outline the ‘substantial repairs’ required on the north side of the mansion in St James’s. A heritage statement says that ‘areas of the render are failing and there are cracks and damage to decorative mouldings’. It adds: ‘If the works are not carried out, the render will continue to fail and eventually the appearance of the building will be compromised. The failure of the render could also compromise the underlying structure leading to more substantial issues.’
I mean, if a historical site is falling down, by all means, repair it. But I wonder if Charles (and the rest of the royal family) will face criticism for any of this? Clarence House isn’t really a “palace” and I don’t think Charles even allows public tours? It’s not like the cost of repairs can be offset with the argument of “it’s a massively historical site and a popular tour destination.” CH is arguably the most modernized royal residence in London, and Charles already did a big renovation when he moved in, after the Queen Mother passed away. But yeah… my guess is that this huge, expensive repair job will barely make a blip. There’s a reason why this news came out over the weekend before Christmas, in the middle of a news/gossip drop about Charles’ sons and their wives. Meanwhile, the tabloids will rage about how Meghan dared to want an en suite bathroom. Update: I totally reported this the wrong way with the 86-million-pound figure, my bad. I’m sorry.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.