Queen Elizabeth hates Charles’ idea of turning Buckingham Palace into a museum

Official Pictures Of The Queen And The Prince of Wales

In 2016, plans were finalized for a “much needed” extensive renovation of Buckingham Palace. The cost of these renovations was estimated, at the time, to be around $460 million, although nowadays, the cost is reported to be around $500 million. The reno started in 2017 and laborers have only stopped work for a few months last year, because of the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, it was thought that the Queen would mostly live among the ruins, and that she would still base herself mostly at BP. That’s over – she now lives primarily at Windsor Castle and she has rarely ventured to BP since March 2020. Still, the Queen believes BP should still be the official residence of the monarch, and she’s pretty mad that Charles plans to use BP as a combination of “monarch’s apartment” plus office space and a museum when he becomes king.

The Queen is said to be against Prince Charles’s vision to transform Buckingham Palace into a year-round museum. Charles, as first in line to the throne, has long planned for a major shake up of the Royal Family once he becomes king.

Among his ambitious ideas is a streamlined monarchy of just seven senior working royals and the opening of royal private spaces to members of the public. But, a royal expert says his vision for the Westminster palace will “not be happening any time soon” while Her Majesty is on the throne.

Since its first visitors in 1993 the palace has welcomed members of the public every year between April and September. Prince Charles would open the palace and several other royal residences all year round.

Royal commentator Neil Sean says the Queen is not keen on the prince’s plans and wants the palace to remain a “family home of sorts” for the royals. The royal expert told Express the change “will not be happening anytime soon, particularly while we still have our gracious Majesty the Queen with us. She’s not very keen on that particular idea and believes of course, that it should remain a family home of sorts,” he said.

“Her Majesty the Queen will go between Windsor Castle, which she considers her main London base, and spending two to four days a week also out at the re-renovated Buckingham Palace. So for now, whatever you’re reading, it doesn’t look like Prince Charles is going to be getting his own way anytime soon.”

[From The Daily Mirror]

Do you ever have moments where you can’t believe people are actually fighting about which palace or castle should be their main residence? It’s bonkers. I mean, obviously, it’s well known that Charles does not want to live in BP. He finds it drafty and moldy, regardless of the renovations being done right now. He would prefer to live full time at Clarence House no matter what. And all things considered, I don’t think his idea of a full-time museum is all that bad? That’s what BP will be anyway once y’all overthrow your monarchy. *sips Earl Grey*

Royal Garden Party

The Prince Of Wales Presents The Queen Elizbeth Prize For Engineering

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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91 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth hates Charles’ idea of turning Buckingham Palace into a museum”

  1. Scorpion says:

    Grow up Betty, or pay for the renos out of your own pocket. How many family homes does this wretched family need?

    • Mina_Esq says:

      Also, they are only talking about PART of the palace being turned into a museum. Does Betty really need all of the 775 rooms for her own perusal? Geeeeez, talk about being out of touch. Most of us have 4 bedroom family homes.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      If I were in charge, it would be Windsor Castle as the main home, with the 7 working royals in local housing. Buck House would be an office, a small apartment for the head of state to stay in for state visits, guest quarters for visiting heads of state, and open for museum visits any time there isn’t a state visit. The entire Sandringham estate would be sold and the money used for the renovations for Buck House. I would let them keep Balmoral for two months in the summer and open as a museum the rest of the time.

      As the current working royals die off (Duke of Kent, etc.), their grace and favor homes outside of the Windsor estate would be taken back and sold at market cost. If their children make enough money to buy them at full cost then fine, but the children would not be royal (on the line of succession, but not titled, not on the civil list, and not provided with housing).

      They’ve needed to reduce the size of the Royal Family for years. The Royal Family should be the ruler and spouse, the oldest child and spouse, their oldest child and spouse, etc. Once the Queen dies, it should be Charles and Camilla, Anne, Edward and Sophie, and William and Kate. As Anne, Edward and Sophie die or retire, George, Charlotte and Louis will take on duties. Eventually, it will be William and Kate, George, Charlotte, and Louis and their spouses and children, up to 7 members.

      • Angela says:

        I so agree with you! Reading about the mess that is Andrew, how lucky for all that Harry and Meghan removed themselves to earn their own living. Unless you are heir to the throne it should be normal procedure to go out and earn your own living.

      • Kate says:

        One comment regarding the estates: Sandringham and Balmoral are owned privately by the Queen (i.e. are not part of the Crown Estate, as is the case with BP and Windsor Castle), so they can’t be “taken back and sold”.

      • Becks1 says:

        I agree with you generally but you’re saying that it should be the monarch and spouse, the heir and spouse, and their heir and spouse…..so that does not leave a space for Charlotte and Louis. And honestly, it shouldn’t. they should not be working royals. Part of the reason the current situation is so messy is because of all the Queen’s children were working royals. They need to stop that expectation. the direct heirs are working royals, the rest are not.

        @Kate – yes, they are owned privately, but I think enough pressure could be applied that they would either be sold or opened up to the public full time. Sandringham especially is ridiculous…the queen has a huge country estate that she goes to for a month each year and is able to fully maintain (along with Balmoral) while she lets Buckingham Palace fall behind in repairs.

  2. HeatherC says:

    Seven working* royals? No wonder Sophie has been quiet. She’s in. (Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Sophie, Edward, Anne).

    (*this term used very liberally and, by this American, sarcastically)

    • Couch potato says:

      Hmm, I was thinking Charles, Camilla, Kate, William and their children, but the three children won’t be working any time soon anyway. Hardly ever, if they follow in their parents footsteps,

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Chaz will be sorely disappointed with Mumbles if he thinks that she will work. Mumbles McMutton has NO intention of working which she publicly stated last week, she has children to raise.

      Too bad he treated his charming and dynamic son and his wife so terribly. Maybe then he would have been able to captivate the world during his reign with a proper working royal couple.

  3. Tulipworthy says:

    Why does she think it matters when she is dead? She sounds so controlling to me.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I was coming here to say the same thing, hahaha. Not to be callous but who cares if she doesn’t like it…she’ll be dead. It’s not like Charles is planning to tear it down, or open an AirBNB.

      • Moxylady says:

        She should haunt it. A life of service doesn’t end with death Betty! Now start bringing in the tourists.

    • Couch potato says:

      How would this expert know what the queen thinks? I doubt he’s having tea with her on a regular basis. They’re usually stating things they think she says or thinks.

      • TigerMcQueen says:

        Or they’re saying things the courtiers think, who are under the impression they’re the true power behind the throne. Likely, the old white men don’t want the icky poors running amok in the palace all year long.

      • aftershocks says:

        I totally agree @Couch potato. It’s the Queen’s courtiers who don’t like Charles’ plans because likely many of them will be out of jobs when the Queen dies. They are all stuck in the past and they want things as they were, to continue forever. The courtiers are the ones hiding behind the Queen, and leaking that she thinks this or that. I’m certain they write all of her speeches and public announcements too.

    • thaisajs says:

      Took the words from my keyboard. When Charles FINALLY gets to be king, he gets to make decisions on these weighty matters. Not her.

  4. Bettyrose says:

    It’s an amazing idea, honestly. You want America tourist dollars? Open the palaces up for us to tour. Show us the finery and the portraits. Heck, hire actors for tacky re-enactments of historic palace life. And end it all at the gift shop. 💰💰💰

    • Alexandria says:

      As long as the royals and British press have not apologized for their inhumane treatment of Meghan, they will certainly not get my tourist dollars, what more step into their palace.

      • fluffybunny says:

        I refuse to even fly through one of their airports. They get zero of my dollars. I don’t even order tea from England anymore. I’ve switched to Canadian sellers.

      • Lexistential says:

        Same. I’d rather go to Scotland, and I’ll gladly donate to independence campaigns.

      • Bettyrose says:

        I hear you guys, but you gotta admit that aaa business plan those palaces will be way more profitable as museums than as homes for minor royals.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Me as well!! In fact we had made reservations to stay at One Aldwych with joining suites 500 and 502, I think, that has a small terrace, but that was axed in 2019. Of course now we plan on going somewhere else for our European trip, once it’s safe(r), but London won’t be getting any of our tax dollars now!!

    • Snuffles says:

      I LOVE a gift shop!

      • Babz says:

        Me, too! In 2000, our choir from an Episcopalian church in Virginia toured Wales and England, singing services and concerts. When we visited Westminster Abbey, I bought a black nylon waterproof tote in the gift shop to carry my music in. It had an I ❤️ London logo. As other ladies from the choir wandered in and saw my bag, they bought one. The shop easily sold a dozen that day – I always thought I should have been given a finder’s fee or discount for inspiring so many sales! Still have the bag, too!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I do too!!! I bought my kids these fabulous bags from SFMOMA one year that are still being used!!! I also have a fabulous MOMA water bag that easily rolls up and gives me the right amount of water for my outings!!!

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      I have long held that this would bring in buckets of money, all of which could be used for the common good. Abolish the monarchy, and bring in seasoned actors to react history. Go full immersive– I would bet Punchdrunk could do a lot with this. Theme cocktails And hell, why not an AirBnb? It would be like staying the night in a really huge murder house. Britain would be rolling in it.

      • Pinkosaurus says:

        You don’t even need actors. They have working historical positions at the Tower of London which keeps the historical aspects intact. That should be the model for all of the monarchy’s palaces. If they want a private home, they have plenty of money to buy private properties not owned and paid for by the public.

      • Juniper says:

        Like France did with Versailles. They have a hotel on the premises and it’s gorgeous.

    • Tessa says:

      Oh, don’t you worry about the gift shop. They have one open even when the palace itself is closed. 🙂

      • Bettyrose says:

        One of my most prized possessions is from an RF gift shop. My grandmother bought it in the 80s. Might not be worth much but it means the world to me.

    • Same says:

      Already happens . You can tour the state rooms at BP and yes , there’s a gift shop at the end. You can even pick your favorites China pattern … the Queen or even DoS or DoC .

      • Woo woo says:

        You can already (or could a few years ago) tour BP during select months (when Queenie wasn’t in residence). You could wander the gardens and there’s a gift store at the end. I actually enjoyed it

    • Mac says:

      If they include the queen’s apartments on the tour they will rake it in.

      • Becks1 says:

        And if we can go out on “the” balcony, lol.

      • bettyrose says:

        Nice! If they were under the National Trust, would it really be supporting the RF to visit? We did a visit of National Trust properties in Gloustershire a few years ago and it was fabulous. That was pre-Meghan, but I don’t think we spent money on anything that supported the entities that bullied Meghan out of the country.

    • The Recluse says:

      A museum would be the best fate for that warren of a building. In fact, I would turn it over to The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery as well as keep the historical rooms…and whatever offices and such are needed, keep them to the rear.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, I bet it will pay off and bring in load of American tourist money. But my money won’t be among it, lol. There are so many fascinating things to see in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland……all home to some of my ancestors. The Royal Residences are not among them. My last visit to the Isles was to Ireland, on a golf trip with my husband and some of his friends. I saw castles, walked around the lake and town, made dinner reservations, and walked the beautiful beach-side course. I can’t imagine a better trip. Why would I want to waste my time looking at a bunch of stones?

  5. El says:

    Hasn’t he lived in Clarence House for almost 20 years? I can’t blame him for wanting to stay there. It is hard to read all these articles and not think she should have retired like Queen (now Princess) Beatrix of the Netherlands.

  6. Yinyang says:

    We all know she is cheap with the public people (but not her family!) She always goes by “give them an inch and theyll want a mile.” Sparcity mentality of a narcissist. Btw thats a beautiful background in the top pic.

    • Snuffles says:

      If they don’t want BP to crumble to pieces or have a catastrophic accident like the Notre Dame fire, they will have to find a way to pay for that doesn’t involve bilking their taxpayers who are struggling severely right now.

  7. Randie says:

    That’s all Philip and the Queen wanted when she became Queen. How easily get forget.

  8. Seven working royals? Charles had better be prepared to make do with five. Either that, or bump up the York sisters (assuming they’d even want the gig).

  9. Snuffles says:

    Honestly, I agree with Charles on this one. Look at Versailles in France. It does booming business annually.

    Turn those residences in a combination of museums and sell tickets to visitors. Rent out office spaces to businesses. Turn some of those properties into hotels and give international visitors a “royal” experience. Let people rent out the space for parties and weddings. Isn’t that what those aristocratic families are doing to maintain their ancestral homes?

    Do it well enough, eventually they won’t have to rely on the tax payers to fund their existence.

    • windyriver says:

      This is something Charles would be really good at. Recently re-watched a 2013 PBS doc about Dumfries House. Despite the recent pay for play scandal involving the Prince’s Foundation (the Foundation wasn’t established until 2018, previously the Dumfries House Trust was a stand alone entity) what’s been done there is a very creative mixed use project – yes, a tourist attraction, also event space for weddings, etc., but also, an employer for area young people, education and training centers, community education projects, a community wellness facility. The biggest failure has been Knockroon, the associated planned community, partly because the house costs were too high in an economically depressed area. But a huge clean energy demonstration project is about to be built on some of that land instead – the irony being, that area’s economy was once based on coal mining.

      One interesting sidelight re: the financial scandals – on the website some years back, I think pre-Foundation, five or six of the education centers (textiles, traditional crafts) referred to by the names of their major donors. Whether more than just naming opportunities were promised is an open question. In recent years however the only specific names noted are for the training kitchen and the refurbished pool in the nearby town.

      Also, now that I know what he looks like, I could see Michael Fawcett hovering around in that film: driving the car that brought Charles to the property for the kitchen opening; helping people off the shuttle at a donor thank you party. Basically looking like a lackey. Five years later, he was CEO of a newly formed foundation, incorporating the house trust, and other of Charles’ charities. Wonder how that went over with the many other people working at Dumfries, etc.

    • MissMarirose says:

      Or even Windsor Castle. It was one of the few places with more than a handful of tourists last month, even though you only get to see a couple of rooms that were rebuilt after the fire. Having tourists come into a palace in the heart of London to see a bunch of rooms that have more history will bring in massive amounts of tourist cash.

  10. clarissa says:

    “That’s what BP will be anyway once y’all overthrow your monarchy.”
    that’s really why she doesn’t like it. one step closer to everything not mattering

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I am in agreement as well. Plus, TQ doesn’t want the peasants to know how rich she is living as well!! She doesn’t want to have the thought of people seeing where she resides and the possibility of people seeing how lavishly she is actually living off of their backs. They are scrapping by and she has gold inlaid wallpaper.

  11. fluffybunny says:

    She’ll be dead so why does she care what Chuckles does?

    • STRIPE says:

      While I disagree with her, I understand why she cares even if she’ll be gone. She has been monarch for 70 years. She has lived and breathed the institution her whole life. I think it’s understandable that she cares what happens when she’s gone.

  12. Beth says:

    Charles understands the shift in public opinion about the monarchy much better than the queen and this is a strategy to help maintain power. Opening up the residences to the public takes some of the bite out of opposition arguments (aka the renos cost a lot of money, the royals are leeches). I still think we should abolish the monarchy, but at least Charles is less obtuse than Will and less oblivious than Elizabeth.

    • STRIPE says:

      I also think this is to do with him being in his 70s. He doesn’t want much changed in his life at this point. That is a byproduct of QE2 not stepping aside earlier IMO.

      • notasugarhere says:

        It has been talked about for two decades that Charles never intended to live at BP. He’s always wanted to keep Clarence House and move to Windsor as his official residence. He has to give up Highgrove House, because he will no longer be Duke of Cornwall and it’d be ridiculous for taxpayers to pay millions a year in rent for him to keep living there once he’s king.

        That’s why the talk of W&K wanting to move to Windsor and make it their focus is so interesting. Another way of horning in on Charles’s future plans, just like naming their son George. There was talk for years Charles would take the name ‘Geroge’ when he was king because of his grandfather. Now he cannot do that, because he’d be accused of trading on a child’s PR.

      • STRIPE says:

        Nota- iiiiiiiinteresting about the the George name! I hadn’t heard about that.

        I wonder if he’ll even take a different name now? Seems silly and antiquated to me to change his name after QE2 didn’t – but then again the whole monarchy and aristocracy is silly and antiquated to me ha!

      • equality says:

        It wouldn’t be changing his name; it would be using one of his other names. He had it before George. “Charles Philip Arthur George” is PC’s full name.

      • Babz says:

        @NotaSugar, that’s interesting about Highgrove. I had forgotten that the Duchy of Cornwall purchased the house. Since William becomes Duke of Cornwall on Charles’ accession, does that mean it becomes one of his homes automatically? Charles has put his stamp on that estate so strongly, and it’s his primary country home, that I can’t imagine him willingly giving it up. And what happens to it if William doesn’t want it? Hmmmm…so many questions…

      • BothSidesNow says:

        He could use his name Phillip as they are both unfaithful husbands and shit for fathers!!!

    • Gubbinal says:

      I decided some 50 years ago that Charles would call himself George VII. Charles is a “bad luck” name for Monarchs. Edward has been a bit sullied. But George! George V – WWI. George VI – WWII. Not that he wants to be a “war” king but that those Kings achieved more popularity. I have no doubt he may have mentioned it in passing to his sons at some point and that Baldie stole the idea. What other names are there? Athelred? Henry IX would be smirk-worthy. Perhaps he should follow Pope John Paul and call himself King George-William.

      • Ann says:

        He can call himself whatever he wants, IMO. I don’t like how he treated his wife OR his son but he’s been heir apparent for most of his life, he has a right to decide how to handle the title.

  13. windyriver says:

    What’s a re-renovation? Anything to do with money for repairs having to be re-authorized because the funds that were supposed to be used for upkeep/renovations all along somehow weren’t used for the purpose?

  14. Merricat says:

    Well, it’s no use trying to pretend you’re superior now, Windsors, when we’ve all seen how the poor sausages are made.

  15. Angelica Schuyler says:

    Another example of Petty Betty not wanting to change with the times. But, she’ll be gone when Charles is on the throne, so how much does her opinion on this really matter in the grand scheme of things?

  16. Eurydice says:

    I don’t know – just because the Queen is against the idea doesn’t mean she isn’t reconciled to the fact that it will happen.

  17. Lexistential says:

    I’m with Charles on this one. I’m not moving into that drafty, moldy liability zone at 70. Making it into a museum year-round is a start for making that self-sustaining and actually money-making.

    • Tessa says:

      When I was in London, our tour guide actually attributed the “drafty and moldy” sentiment to the Queen herself, so I’d take this article with a grain of salt.

  18. Nic919 says:

    Charles wants to do this because then he won’t come under fire for the cost of renovations if the building belongs to the government. BP hasn’t been properly maintained for years and the Queen lapsed in making sure it was maintained. When the bill for the BP renovations finally come due, charles wants to be able to say it’s not his problem anymore.

    It’s also interesting that articles about charles are now focusing on economizing as opposed to the princess of portraits birthday extravaganza. CH is much better at reading a room than KP.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The bill already came due, which is why the 400 million was voted in by Parliament a few years ago. Next up is the costly reno of Clarence House. They’re saying it will cost 80 million just to restore one side of the exterior.

      • equality says:

        Not my money since not from UK but I wonder if there comes a point when the buildings aren’t considered worth the upkeep. How historic is CH now after so many remodels?

  19. Katie says:

    Process questions – who briefs/leaks against Prince Charles on the Queen’s behalf?

  20. Amy Bee says:

    Not to be crude but it doesn’t matter what the Queen thinks after she’s gone. She won’t be living there and it will be Charles’ to do what he wants with it.

  21. L4Frimaire says:

    Charles’ idea actually makes sense. It’s not like the royals will be homeless if they have a few tourists going through that ginormous, architecturally insignificant palace.

  22. Over it says:

    No one can ever accuse this woman of being modest. People loosing their jobs and she still wants it all.

  23. Ainsley7 says:

    I don’t think this is necessarily the Queen’s opinion unless it’s coming out of spite. Everyone in the family has said over and over how much they hate BP. The Queen was forced to move there because courtiers and MPs wanted it to remain the main residence of the monarch. I think it’s more likely the courtiers or parliament are trying to get people riled up in order to force him to move to BP when the time comes. I’m sure the Queen is at least somewhat sympathetic unless she’s incredibly spiteful and wants him to be forced to live there just because she was. There’s no reason for Charles to move. He could still have an office and hold state dinners without living there. It’s not like Clarence House is super far away.

    • Becks1 says:

      These are my thoughts as well. The Queen didn’t want to live there, why would she insist Charles does? I think this is coming from the courtiers etc. they can still use BP for state dinners, larger receptions, big royal weddings (George’s down the line, etc) and the rest of the time it can be a museum with some event space. You KNOW some rich people will pay $$$ to have a wedding there.

    • equality says:

      Is it the Queen putting this out? Perhaps PW wants BP to have as a residence in the future so wants it to look like PC is undermining TQ.

  24. MJM says:

    I think it’s a case of BP leaking because BP staff don’t want to be out of a job. They are hiding behind her gracious Majesty 🙄 putting this out there.

  25. AmelieOriginal says:

    Well once Queen Liz is dead, she can’t do much about it and if Charles isn’t living there, not even her ghost will be able to haunt him. Obviously Charles won’t do anything while she’s still alive but as usual she’s in denial that things will majorly change once she’s no longer around to call the shots. Anyways that’s what the Spanish royals do too. They don’t live in the Palacio Real in Madrid which is open to the public pretty much all the time. They only use it for formal occasions which is when it’s closed. They live in the Zarzuela Palace which is so much smaller in comparison (looks more like a big mansion in pictures).

    Also at 95 the Queen isn’t going to commute between Buckingham and Windsor, let’s stop that. She recently threw out her back and probably can’t walk much anymore, there have been no videos of her walking in months.

  26. Mslove says:

    I think turning BP into a museum is already a done deal, Charles will wait for The Queen to pass.

  27. Lionel says:

    Who is this Neil Sean character? It’s such an odd quote,“not anytime soon.” Is he unaware of the Queen’s age and health? At what point is she going to resume this Windsor-BP commute? When the pandemic is “over?” Which will be, er, “soon?”

    He sounds like a bloody idiot.

  28. Giddy says:

    I think that Charles should open Royal Lodge to the public. Andrew might feel differently about being there if the general public was all over the place.

  29. Westcoast says:

    I think having BP as a museum would be a great idea!! Bring more interest in the royal family and some large tourist income in the city and country, why not? They already have enough castles… it would be like giving back to the public in a real way.

  30. RoyalBlue says:

    Old Brenda needs to take two seats.

    • Ann says:

      Agreed. I am not even at “Grandmother” level yet but I don’t think it’s entirely my place to decide how future generations will run the family and use its assets. Sure, I have a right and an opinion, but I’m not going to be around forever, so who am I to say?

  31. Fanciful says:

    given TQ’s health this isn’t coming from the queen at all but the courtiers or whatever they are, the men/woman in grey, who work at Buck house. and then will get the shove when the queen dies. they currently have the run of the place and they don’t want to give it up, they’re just using the name of the queen. Chuck isn’t popular with that antiquated crew so anything from “the queen” i take as total behind the scenes bs. it’s not like she’ll ever know.

  32. Super Fan says:

    If they want a family home, they can damn well step down from the monarchy, stop costing the public hundreds of millions a year, and get a real job!!!

    That figurehead has full-time servants who “test the temperature of her bath water” every day. Fine, she resided over the longest period of peace in modern times, but her family is a drain on British society.

    Never thought I’d agree with Charles, but he at least understands that their family belongs in a museum.

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