Here in North America, much of the US experienced a brutal cold snap over the past week. It was especially bad in New England and around the Great Lakes, with many states dipping well below zero for days at a time. The UK is apparently experiencing a bad cold snap of its own, and they’re also in a dire energy and cost-of-living crisis. Meaning, people can’t afford to heat their homes and people are looking for warmth wherever they can find it. Many localities are opening up “warm banks” or “warm spaces” where people can simply go and sit in warmth for however long they want. King Charles is getting into the warm bank solution now – he’s opening up three of his properties, two of which are in Scotland.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla are lending a helping hand to their neighbors in need this winter. The public will be given access to three of their royal residences—Scotland’s Castle of Mey and Dumfries House, and The Orchard Room at Highgrove House (their private residence in England) to be used as warm banks until March.
In the U.K., warm banks are spaces set up in places like libraries, churches, and community centers, where those who struggle with loneliness and the cost of heating their homes during the winter, can go spend the day. The banks are designed to be welcoming spaces with refreshments and opportunities to socialize with others.
As you would imagine, since these are the homes of actual royalty, they’re not your ordinary warm banks. According to the BBC, one visitor described the bank at the Georgian Neoclassical-style Highgrove House as “posh” when compared to other banks. The program’s director at Highgrove described the space as “open” and “convivial” and that everyone in the local community is welcome to join.
Dumfries House is operated as a charity, museum and training space – it’s been one of Charles’s pet projects for years, but I suspect that Charles probably didn’t have much to do with designating Dumfries as a warm space. Now, Castle of Mey and Highgrove? For sure. I wonder why he’s not opening up even more royal residences though – I mean, sure, it’s “good” that Charles is doing this very limited thing for a limited time, but surely he could do much, much more. Especially given that the taxpayers (who are already under significant financial strain) are paying for Charles’s excessive coronation.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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The Prince of Wales meeting children who have been learning about food as part of the Food For The Future, a pilot food education programme delivered by The Prince’s Foundation, at Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire. Picture date: Monday April 25, 2022.,Image: 685948383, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: NO UK USE FOR 48 HOURS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533 42 89, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon
EMBARGOED TO 0001 TUESDAY APRIL 26
The Prince of Wales before meeting children who have been learning about food as part of the Food For The Future, a pilot food education programme delivered by The Prince’s Foundation, at Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire. Picture date: Monday April 25, 2022.,Image: 685948397, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: NO UK USE FOR 48 HOURS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533 42 89, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon
Dumfries House, Cumnock, where the Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland, attended a roundtable with attendees of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation seminar to discuss allergies and the environment. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2022.,Image: 720534984, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: NO UK USE FOR 48 HOURS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533 42 89, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon
The Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland, during a roundtable with attendees of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation seminar to discuss allergies and the environment, at Dumfries House, Cumnock. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2022.,Image: 720535009, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: NO UK USE FOR 48 HOURS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533 42 89, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon
Britain’s King Charles meets staff and suppliers at Morrisons Supermarkets headquarters during a two-day tour of Yokshire in Bradford, Britain November 8, 2022.,Image: 736041196, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: NO UK USE FOR 48 HOURS- Fee Payable Upon reproduction – For queries contact Avalon sales@Avalon.red London +44 20 7421 6000 Los Angeles +1 310 822 0419 Berlin +49 30 76 212 251 Madrid +34 91 533 42 89, Model Release: no, Credit line: Avalon.red / Avalon
King Charles III during his visit to Aboyne and Mid Deeside Community Shed in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, to meet with local hardship support groups and tour of new facilities. Picture date: Thursday January 12, 2023.,Image: 749251934, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Andrew Milligan / Avalon
King Charles III and the Queen Consort talk with genocide survivors after lighting two candles to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture date: Friday January 27, 2023. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Victoria,Image: 752306315, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Victoria Jones / Avalon
How accessible are these properties though for the unhoused?
Castle of Mey is way up at the northern tip of Scotland. Hardly a bustling metropolis.
Are these places even easily accessible? Wouldn’t a building or royal property in an urban area be better? Any “little” thing helps I guess, and Charles and Peggy along with the wives are masters at doing as little as possible.
Dumfries House is in a fairly isolated community in the middle of nowhere in Scotland. Dumfries House is very much off the beaten path.
I’m from that part of Scotland and wouldn’t describe it as isolated per se but you do need a car to get around. The towns close by are small with Auchinleck on a main train line.
As another commenter points out below its a deprived area where not everyone can afford to have a car.
It’s nice to have warm banks, where people can gather together during a pandemic and share stories and COVID because they cannot afford to heat their own homes. Great public policy, that.
That man has so many properties that could be converted into affordable housing and they just sit there unused. That useless, lazy rage monster of a son Bill and his wife have 4 properties that they call home. These people don’t have a clue and do not care about the needs of the unhoused or those struggling to make ends meet. This bullshit has got to stop.
Why don’t they open up Buckingham Palace? I know there are offices and such there but there has to be a TON of space that is not used on a daily basis. I wonder if there is a concern that tourists will swoop in in place of people who actually need it?
I mean at least its something I guess. but barely something.
Or W&K’s huge and unused apartment in Kensington Palace!!
How about it W&K ?
Becks- and Buckingham Palace has like 79 bathrooms! PERFECT for a very large group of people! No lines!
Any resident of the UK should have the right to pop into Buckingham Palace to use the loo at any time.
Better yet help people get affordable heating so the elderly don’t have to travel somewhere daily just to stay warm. Is he providing transport to help them get there? Car fuel is expensive also. Knowing people will be away for hours just for heat opens them up to theft. And, when temps are extra low, you have a risk to your water pipes that this solution won’t alleviate. I would think a good number of people have somewhere to go daily-called work or school and would like to enjoy being in the peace of their own home afterward.
Exactly. The fact that warm banks (along with food banks) are needed at all in the world’s 7th or 8th wealthiest country is a shameful thing.
Yes and If he is so worried about people, why is he wasting a fortune on his coronation, two new thrones!!! Thought you wanted to save the planet Charlie
Don’t you most need a warming center at night, when temperatures are at their lowest? A warm place to go during the day is nice, and apparently needed, but what about at night?
I keep my house colder at night on purpose because I sleep better. There are limits to how cool I keep it though. I guess, they sleep in plenty of warm clothing and bundle under the covers. Being gone to stay warm and bundling up to sleep don’t get your chores done though. And do these warming centers serve meals?
Oh now they’re not “tax paying subjects” they’re “neighbors” and Charles isn’t “doing the least to fulfill his duties”, he’s “generously helping” by opening three of his dozens of houses, two of them only to secure Scotland meanwhile THE PEOPLE PAID FOR ALL OF IT. The royal family are nothing more than white supremacist welfare grifters. Can’t wait to see the “Crumbly” of the Monarchy, will keep me alive until old age just to see it happen.
@Kaiser, you outdid yourself with the main photo this time 😭☠️
Thank you, Lorelei, I was coming to say the same thing! This is my new favorite Chuck photo, I can’t stop laughing!
Great selection the first one is priceless
It is rather…simian.
I concur, rather ape-ish. Huh.
I know we’re supposed to be so impressed with this gesture, but it’s such little help that it smacks more of ‘let them eat cake’ than ‘the benevolent king’. Will the RF put pressure on the UK government to address the hardships people are facing the way they do to be excluded from environmental laws and to have tax exemptions? Yeah, no.
Royal estates aren’t know for just being a hop away from people in need. Imagine you can’t heat your house BUT you can pay for gas and insurance on your car to drive super far away to a royal palace that’s warm. And where the elderly and possibly the people staying home due to illness but still needing heat are congregated.
He needs to set up buses to take people here.
He also needs to “adopt” some warm spaces and some food banks. Or he is going to be egged in his gold carriage on the way to his gold throne.
I think these “warm banks” are only open for a limited number of hours too & you have to register for them and can only go once. Not really a solution.
Is this true? You can only go once?
How positively reassuring 😒
Also if he can do if, where’s his namby pamby “HeIR” with not a care to spare that walks around town throwing out smiles and who’s wife’s sleek hair and stiff cape cloaks gives her the power to sh*t rainbows? Pretty sure they’ve got like 5 houses?
(According to the tabloids)
Not sure but I swear I read somewhere that they’ll literally only be open to the public as warming centers maybe 2 days out of the week or something like that. Don’t want to spread misinfo if that’s not the case but I’ma try to investigate.
Please do, because this is sounding more cockamamie than their usual BS, and that is saying something. Do they think once you get warm, you stay warm for a lengthy period of time?
I live around 12 miles from Dumfries House, and it’s impossible to get to without access to a car. The surrounding area has severe issues with poverty and low access to cars/levels of car ownership. I’ve been to Dumfries House only once, and we would love to visit more often (it’s an exquisite estate with lots for kids) but we don’t drive, and public transport doesn’t pass the place. So only people with the means/fuel to get there could get the benefit of this, seems like something to throw to the peasants, that we peasants can’t utilise!
Oh my god!
He should be setting up buses to bring people in. But why do something helpful when he can do this and get the same PR? Do they not realize that the people being screwed by this will now have a much more negative view of the royals?
Exactly! I’m wondering if this just pleases the pro-Royal folk and they don’t care about those who are anti-Royal. The pro-Royal people tend to be fairly vocal and I’m guessing this is for their benefit, rather than any real-world one.
It always speaks volumes when public transportation just happens to not go past certain neighborhoods/places. 😛
@Deering24 You’re not wrong there! Keeps it secluded and types like me out 🙂
WOW. This is awful, this is worse than if he had done nothing at all. Please come warm up, even though you either don’t have a car or can’t afford the gas to put in the car. Tone deaf gets tossed around a lot with the royal family, but seriously. This is too much, they are hoping no one notices that it’s impossible to reach the warming center?
And now we know why none of their London properties are mentioned.
Exactly, all smoke and mirrors AGAIN
King Charlatan could sell those properties and use the money to pay for heating costs for the next few years but sure letting a few people in to warm up is good, too. /s
Charles is doing the bare minimum. Not good enough.
This just shows he has too many houses. How about taking these away PERMANENTLY and using them for public issues, 24/7, 365?
I was reading a BBC article about the Highgrove scheme, and it said it was only once a week (Tuesdays) for 60 people, who have to book in advance. They get a free lunch and there are some activities in the afternoon.
Given the resources at his disposal, you’d think he could do more really.
I’m also seeing reports (re the Scottish scheme) each session is only 2 hours. That’s not going to help people much is it.
But at least the bloke is trying. It’s a start and, for me, is indicative of a very kind side to Charles. Let’s see if he expands it.
LOL, he’s not “trying.” This isn’t trying. This is green-lighting the most meager gesture his staff could come up with and pretending it’s generosity.
Why not offer up Buck House, which is more easily accessible? Why not open it daily, and staff it with social services experts who can work with people in need to find more permanent solutions?
Charles doesn’t have a genuinely kind bone in his body.
I do appreciate that what I’m going to propose is a bit lose lose for King Charles, but aren’t these properties (and castles/palaces/whatever you call the estates of the aristocracy generally) known for being very drafty and extremely expensive to heat? I thought this was why these kind of places don’t get bought up by the mega-rich and why so many are like half sealed off because upkeep is too expensive. It seems like it would be much more helpful for KC to use his vast wealth to rent out well-insulated, modern properties (or maybe hotels?) for warm banks. I get that the optics of these places being empty isn’t great, but it seems like from a practical view, this is not going to be the best use of KC’s resources to help the most people.
The guests just get to use the (public) tearooms as “warm centres”, which I assume are already properly heated. They’re not part of the main house.
A question for the Brits. In the US (or at least my part 😉 certain utlities cannot be turned off in the winter even with lack of payment. Do your utility companies turn off heat in the winter or is that the homes are heated independtly by the occupants (wood, coal, etc.)
I’m sorry if the question is off but I’m trying to get a better understanding of the “heating homes” crisis.