Kensington Palace: Royal expert reveals why location was chosen
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The claims were sparked by the fact that apartment 1, the 21-room apartment that has undergone a multi-million-pound refurbishment, remains empty more than three years after the scaffolding came down. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were previously expected to live in the apartment, alongside Prince William and Kate.
But the empty apartment has caused some to speculate that there is disinterest in the building, especially given that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly have long-term plans to move to Windsor.
Historian Christopher Warwick said: “Whispers that Kensington Palace’s days as an official residence are numbered are a pointer to how many changes we are going to see when Charles becomes King.
“He would be wise to rent it out and hold it in reserve should he need to accommodate any royals down the line.”
This comes amid growing talk of a “slimmed down monarchy” under Prince Charles’ reign.
Telegraph associate editor Camilla Tominey had previously said that this is part of an attempt to promote the future king’s image as a “frugal” monarch.
She said “There’s this sense that he wants a slimmed-down monarchy to make sure that everybody is doing their bit and that there are no, so-called, ‘hangers-on’.
“I think this is Charles’ attempt to basically look like he has inherited his mother’s habit for being frugal – turning off light switches and being green – and generally being good value for money.
“On one hand, it’s probably a good idea for when Trooping the Colour happens for us not to see such a vast array of royals on the balcony at Buckingham Palace because it then begs the question: who are all these people and what are they doing?”
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This bid for a “slimmed down monarchy”, according to Ms Tominey, may also include a reduction in the royal estate, which may serve as motivation for the Duke and Duchess’s move away from Kensington Palace to Windsor Castle.
Speaking about the potential move, a royal source told the Daily Mail: “Apartment 1 is in great condition and Charles would be wise to make a show of getting a market rate for it.
“If the Cambridges relocate, it seems likely the few remaining Royals will be obliged to move on.”
Meanwhile, another royal source said: “Charles is always talking about a slimmed-down monarchy.
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“They could sell off the rest on long leases and generate some income. They could even flog it to a Saudi!”
It has also been reported that Prince Charles – when he ascends the throne – plans to live in a “flat above the shop” at Buckingham Palace and use Highgrove as his family home.
Ms Tominey described the potential changes as a “recalibration of what it means to be a royal.”
Kensington Palace, which also houses about 50 members of royal staff, has an estimated value of £620million.
Apart from empty Apartment 1, the rest of Kensington Palace is full according to an aide, who adds that work is “ongoing”.
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