King Charles actually hates BP & Balmoral, that’s why he’s opening them to tours

Last week, tickets went on sale for tours of Balmoral, the Windsors’ privately-owned Scottish castle. This is the first time in history that Balmoral will open to the public in any way, and the tickets were snapped up quickly. Last week, Buckingham Palace also expanded their tours, so that people can pay extra to see more of BP, especially the famous “balcony.” Those tickets were also snapped up. King Charles’s biographer Robert Jobson went on and on about the brilliance of Charles’s decision to open up two of his twelve homes for paying visitors. But at least someone is pointing out that Charles is opening up BP and Balmoral specifically because those are Charles’s two most loathed palaces and castles. The Mail even quoted good ol’ Norman Baker, who is constantly reminding everyone that Charles hordes real estate and extensive cash reserves tax-free.

The King calls Buckingham Palace ‘The Big House’, and while he intends to move there in 2027 when its £369million refurbishment is complete, those close to him insist he is ‘no fan’ of the royal home. His decision to open up Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle to the public reflects his emotional detachment from them – and a need to bring in money for their upkeep, royal experts told MailOnline today.

The King is said to be a firm believer in ‘the living tradition’, namely that a house which is not lived in becomes a museum. But some believe tours costing up to £100 suggest both homes are heading that way. The Queen rarely stayed at her London home after the pandemic – preferring Windsor Castle – and before then only used six of Buckingham Palace’s 775 rooms.

Former BBC royal correspondent Michael Cole has said Charles’ decision to open up Buckingham Palace and Balmoral after just a year on the throne shows he has ‘no great affection’ for them – even verging on a dislike. He said ‘The King dislikes Buckingham Palace and wants to open it up more to visitors. He is not comfortable living there and goes there only to conduct official business – for instance for the Prime Minister’s “audience of the King” usually on Tuesday evenings’.

‘He also has no great affection for Balmoral, hence his decision to make it more accessible to the paying public. He always stays at Birkhall, his late grandmother’s cosy, comfy home on the Balmoral Estate. It is the King’s instinct and wish to make the monarchy more accessible, making changes that would not have been contemplated while his mother was alive and on the throne’.

Many believe that Charles will do all he can to stay at Clarence House – just a five minute walk from Buckingham Palace. His home on The Mall has been revamped and furnished by Charles and Camilla with their own pictures, artworks and priceless antiques. He is unlikely to relish moving in 2027, when he will be 78.

One source said recently: ‘Charles is no fan of “the big house”, as he calls Buckingham Palace. He doesn’t see it as a ­viable future home or a house that’s fit for purpose in the modern world. He feels its upkeep, both from a cost and environmental perspective, is not sustainable’. It is also no secret that he and Queen Camilla prefer living at Birkhall, the late Queen Mother’s home seven miles from Balmoral.

Mr Cole says that Charles is more likely to go to Buckingham Palace to board his helicopter then spend the night there. He said; ‘Charles goes there to go to the grounds to board a helicopter to go somewhere he prefers — another of his residences, Sandringham House, Balmoral Castle, Highgrove’.

When asked where could be next Mr Cole said the royal residence in Norfolk – although it would be a wrench given his mother’s affection for her “Dear old Sandringham”, as she called it. He said: ‘The Queen loved Balmoral but she loved Sandringham, also personally owned by the monarch, even more’.

Former MP Norman Baker, an expert on King Charles and royal finances, told MailOnline it is all about trying to ‘rake in even more money’. Mr Baker believes like Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham should be brought into public ownership, rather than be privately owned by the Royal Family. He said: ‘We need a full investigation by the Public Accounts committee into royal finances’.

[From The Daily Mail]

From what I can see, Norman Baker is practically the only person in England who says sh-t like “we need a full investigation into royal finances” with any kind of regularity. He’s right too – while it’s clearly a good move for Charles to open up Balmoral to tours, it is a private residence and Charles is pocketing that money. The BP tour money goes back into the upkeep of the royal estates though, and in fact, BP tours only started after the big fire at Windsor Castle, and the government refused to fully finance the repairs and refurbishment. As for what Michael Cole says… it’s also accurate. Charles hates BP as a residence and he doesn’t want to move in, ever. He also hates Balmoral. I think he actually likes Sandringham though, he’s made a point of staying there quite a bit already.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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46 Responses to “King Charles actually hates BP & Balmoral, that’s why he’s opening them to tours”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    If he hates them so much he should give up ownership of them. Give them to the country.

    • Lady Esther says:

      It was reported in the past that Charles wanted to give, not sell, Balmoral to Scotland because it requires over 3 million pounds a year to run (and that was back in the 1990s so presumably it’s even more expensive now….although taxpayers pay for all the staff of course under the Sovereign Grant).

      I don’t know why he doesn’t just offload it? He’d look like a winner and get to stop paying the upkeep. He’d still have Holyrood House in Edinburgh and Birkhall (which isn’t “cosy”, don’t make me laugh. It’s at least as big as Anmer and has its own estate grounds separate from Balmoral) for Scottish residences. I’m sure the British government won’t let him give up BP but as regards Balmoral (and Sandringham) it should be his choice….

      • Kristen from MA says:

        I was curious about Charles’ idea of “cozy.” 😉

      • H says:

        BP isn’t privately owned by the monarch, so CKIII wouldn’t be able to “give it up”.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        A thing to point out for the writer of this article:

        I’ve visited Balmoral twice a decade ago and it’s open all year around if the royals aren’t in. In the castle, up until now one could visit a big room on the left side. I remember parking my hired car near the stables the second time, because my mum is disabled.

        I also don’t understand why someone would pay 100 pounds to visit the remaining rooms, it’s quite… underwhelming compared to other Scottish Castles.

        Go to Dunrobin instead 😂

      • B says:

        Why on earth did anyone associated with the BRF think it was a good idea to say these things publicly?
        Tone. Deaf.

    • Megan says:

      Charles should open the queen’s private apartment at BP for tours. Tickets would generate millions of pounds.

  2. ML says:

    Norman Baker is 100% correct.
    KC’s tours of his less-than-loved “homes” are not making them accessible to everyone who wants to see them. It’s about raking in the money from people who can afford the tours’ prices.

    • Lady Digby says:

      Isn’t this just another insult, allowing the peasants to pay £150 to view luxury for a tour. I am with Norman Baker we need a deep dive into their finances to see what is going on here.

  3. The Hench says:

    Yeah, private ownership of Sandringham and Balmoral was yet another tell that the stories about QEII crying over Lilibet’s name on the grounds that “I don’t even own my own palaces” was absolute nonsense. How many vast houses does any human being need access to?

    Norman Baker is indeed a voice of sanity in the madness. Making the Royal Family more financially accountable when they subsist off the taxpayer is fiscally sound common sense. And only dodgy people who have something to hide would resist it as fiercely as the Royal Family and their advisors continue to resist it….

  4. Miranda says:

    Imagine having so many luxurious homes that you could afford to loathe a couple of them.

    • Dee(2) says:

      That’s the only thing I could think. Imagine the privilege of only going to one of your homes to board a helicopter to one of your more ” preferred” places. It’s like the royal commentators say things like this thinking it makes them relatable. Not everyone is All in on the royal mystique though. It’s just infuriating to me.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        I appreciated this article. It reminded me how the British royals have such First World problems in a country that is increasingly Third World.

    • Pajala says:


  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    He’s a creature of habit but its also fair to point out that he opened Highgrove gardens to the public years ago – you can have afternoon tea there as well. So its not just about places he doesn’t like or live in.

    As I said in a previous post – Balmoral is rather outdated and needs a lot of work to modernise it which wasn’t done when QE2 was alive. There is already a lot on offer for tourists on the estate – you can stay in some of the cottages, pay for private tours etc.. so its interesting that he’s building on what’s already there thou its not great that they will start charging for people to enter to view the grounds and castle exterior as its previously been free.

    As a Scot I would highly recommend visiting the area anyway – the natural beauty is just stunning. Scotland as its best.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I’ve visited it twice more than 10 years ago and it’s never been free (I used to live in the Highlands), I always paid to enter the castle and grounds. Unsure if you just want to walk in the estate.

      I have visited many other Scottish castles too and Balmoral comes across as underwhelming compared to others.

      ETA: isn’t he involved in the upkeep of Castle Mey too?

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Ah ok – thanks for clarifying, I thought it was free to enter the grounds. I think access to the estate is free due to public access laws as there has been stories of hikers meeting members of the RF out and about – the was a recent one of 2 cyclists meeting Charles walking along on his own.

        Hmm interesting that you say that as from the outside it looks stunning – I grew up near Culzean Castle which its beautiful but yeah there are much nicer castles in Scotland like Inveraray.

        Yes I think he is.

    • SarahCS says:

      I was up near there a few years back visiting family near Aberdeen and we went over to Balmoral town for lunch one day, it’s absolutely stunning up there. I’d highly recommend visiting the area if you can.

  6. Eurydice says:

    BP isn’t privately owned by the RF as are Balmoral and Sandringham, is it? And, unless there’s going to be some kind of revolution against the monarchy, the only way to bring Balmoral and Sandringham into public ownership is if the government buys them from the RF. So, then the public would be stuck with 2 more money pits to take care of.

  7. SURE says:

    I guess these “new” tours become necessary when an institution has to pay out £12 million to a victim of a sex trafficking operation.

    • Maeve says:

      Buckingham Palace isn’t privately owned, and it’s never been a favourite residence – it’s incredibly out of date.

      I could see Balmoral being offered to the National Trust For Scotland eventually, depending in how William feels about it. The late Queen loved it but if it’s not going to be used giving it to the trust makes sense, it would be a money spinner for them. Sandringham is a working estate and close enough to London to be doable for weekends, it’s a more practical option if they are downsizing.

    • Sydneygirl says:

      12 million for the BRF is a drop in ocean.

  8. Becks1 says:

    Didn’t QEII also dislike Buckingham Palace and she resisted moving there as well? But she did.

    It just seems to me that currently two residences in London have to be maintained for Charles – BP (as that’s where receptions, meetings, banquets etc are held, so you need the full staff) and Clarence House. And both have to have proper security. So it seems like it would just make sense for the monarch to be in BP, even if they hate it. I mean the President of the United States moves into the white house, there’s not really a debate there, even if Trump did try to escape it as much as possible.

    I feel like the cost of security alone for all the royal residences must be immense (and that’s completely taxpayer money, I don’t think they even pretend that security costs come out of the sovereign grant.)

    Anyway, sorry you hate your massive Scottish castle Charles and prefer your large Scottish mansion instead (it is definitely still a mansion.) Sometimes that’s how it goes.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah I remember reading that and its was said that it was the main reason she always spent every weekend in Windsor.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Congress passed a law after Nixon bought a house in Florida during his presidency that the president could only designate one personal residence to have upgraded Secret Service level security. That was quietly ignored when Trump became President.

      Part of the problem here is that they are so obsessed with royal history and continuity that they ignore that tastes change and different people are inhabiting the role. I’m starting to come around to being anti historical preservation.

  9. Jais says:

    100 pounds seems like a lot. Especially since presumably Charles has enough money to fund his own houses if he’s going to own that many. The only thing comparable I can think of is when I’ve gone to the Biltmore. The tickets are pretty expensive iirc. But it’s well run with gardens.

    • Becks1 says:

      Man I remember going to the Biltmore almost 20 years ago and my parents saying how expensive it was. But even my teenage brothers were impressed and loved it. I’m not sure BP would hit the same way, lol.

      • Jais says:

        So I’m only about a 3 hr drive to Asheville and wish I could visit the biltmore regularly. But it really is 90-120$ so I haven’t been in years. Its pretty stunning though. No offense to Charles, but I’d recommend it over BP😂.

      • lucy2 says:

        I went a few years ago, I thought it was around $60/ticket, and thought that was pricey! I can’t believe it’s up to $90 now.

        I toured KP and Windsor a few years ago, I don’t think either was that expensive, and I’d probably go see BP at some point. I thought the decision to open it up to tours was made years ago, not sure why they’re trying to credit that to Charles now.

    • ncboudicca says:

      I love Biltmore – but I bought a yearly pass a few years back (I live about 2.5 hrs away) and thought it was much more affordable if you want to visit more than 2x/yr. I just checked and they’re running a special for $209 right now, which I think is great. Of course that’s per person and all, so for my husband and myself it’s over $400/yr, and he’s not that interested so I just stick to once a year.

      Now…the Preservation Society of Newport County annual membership is definitely a deal. Multiple mansions included!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Biltmore is beautiful! I could totally see myself living there! You know, if I were stinkin’ rich! 😉. It was that fabulous library that had me swooning!

  10. Heather says:

    HIGHLY recommend you read Norman Baker’s book “And what do YOU do?” About the finances of the BRF. He knows a LOT from his time as MP 😳

  11. Mary Pester says:

    Look let’s face it the Royals are just one great big money pit for the tax payer. Charlie is NEVER going to move into buck house. He’s like a happy little pig in sht with his other homes. He couldn’t even be bothered to spend a single night at Balmoral while his terminally ill mother was there. Give it to the national trust, same with Buckingham Palace, it’s 2024 not 1874 we don’t need the palaces or the money pit Royals, but what we DO NEED is sight of those paradise AND Panama papers that were suppressed by the Royals

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      And keep in mind, Balmoral and Sandringham are privately owned by these parasites, because Queen Vic and Albert scammed public money to buy them in the 19th century.

  12. QuiteContrary says:

    Charles is never going to do anything out of the goodness of his heart … because there’s no goodness there.

  13. Bettyrose says:

    I once spent a week in Gloustershire touring homes and gardens. Three Americans paid for plane fare, a rental home, meals out, entry tickets and so on. Just to tour homes. Imagine if we had full access to historic royal properties. Hint.

  14. Mary Pester says:

    @BETTYROSE, My daughter lives in Gloucestershire, and when I was fit enough to travel, one of my favourite places to visit was Bourton on the water, it’s such a beautiful little village, have you ever been? X

    • bettyrose says:

      Yes, I think so! It was 15 years ago, and I don’t recall every detail, but I googled the village and I’m pretty sure we were there. I envy your daughter (and you for having a daughter there). I could absolutely imagine myself living in the Cotswalds.

      • Mary Pester says:

        @BETTYROSE, Yes she is really lucky to live there Bourton on the water is beautiful and only 15 minutes from where she lives, but I live in cornwall and count myself lucky to be near the sea and the Moor. I wish you could see 5 minutes from my front door where the yatchs and small boats Moore. Every year there is a big carnival and traders come from all over Europe, and we have French, Spanish and Italian vendors cooking their national meals beside the water

  15. olivia says:

    Is this the sort of “by 2027” knowing full well his health situ will not allow him to reach 2027?
    Buckingham Palace is a huge HUGE estate in the middle of London that is closed off largely to the public.

    And I just wanted to say something because I have been reading on different sites and here and some people give a pass to criticising QEII and I have to ask, why? She and her husband were absolutely neck deep in driving the isles to the state it is today. She was not a nice person, she was not “duty” above all and she was not a paradox in a family of mean, inbred idiots. Her mom was an absolute mean cow, her husband was horrible, her sister was horrible and her kids are horrible. She really can’t be that one shining beacon people like to pretend she was just because she showed up driven in, fed, ironed, pampered, cut a few ribbons, nodded, and whisked away to a room with afternoon tea (full) prepared for, swarmed with fluffy dogs she never had to come, check for ticks, clean their ears or pick up their t0rds with a flimsy little poo bag. She was part of the problem.

    • Mary Pester says:

      @OLIVIA, your right with so much of what you say, I think the people of the UK gave her a massive “pass” because she came to the throne so young, but let’s face it, she was the Queen who gave birth to the biggest bunch of ingrates going. Anne works when she wants, but at least she does work, BUT has a very big earner on the side. She instilled in them all a massive sense of entitlement and by christ does it show!

    • bisynaptic says:


    • Pajala says:


  16. bisynaptic says:

    Imagine having the luxury to hate two of your palaces/castles.