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Clarence House
Photograph: Tony Baggett /

Where will King Charles live? Which palace will he pick as his main residence?

Buckingham Palace is undergoing an extensive refurb – so the new monarch will have to pitch up somewhere else

Written by
Faima Bakar

As we say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth ll, we usher in a new King: Charles III. And that means many things in the UK will soon change. Our national anthem, stamps, coins and other symbols of royalty will all be overhauled, and Charles will also have lots of decisions to make following the death of his mother. First up: where will he live?

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Where will King Charles and Camilla the Queen Consort live?

Before the Queen died, Charles and Camilla lived at Clarence House in London and Highgrove in Gloucestershire. But since Buckingham Palace has been the historic home of monarchs, the King is likely to move there. This luxurious 775-room palace includes 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. However, it is currently undergoing a £369 million taxpayer-funded refurbishment, so it’s likely he won’t move in properly for months.

Which palace will King Charles pick as his main residence?

There are plenty of palaces the King can choose from. These include Buckingham Palace and Sandringham in Norfolk, which was used by the Queen during winter and the Christmas period, and Windsor Castle, where she often spent weekends. Holyrood Palace was the Queen’s official Scottish residence, while Balmoral – where she died – was where she’d spend summers. In Northern Ireland, she had Hillsborough Castle. 

The King is likely to opt for Buckingham Palace as his main residence, but will likely to remain in Clarence House for now, while he waits for the refurbishment to be completed. A source told The Times that ‘the King would like to keep Clarence House as his London home. He would use Buckingham Palace for banquets, receptions and investitures, and as the headquarters of the monarchy.’ 

Things are a little complicated as his former title the Duke of Cornwall will pass onto Prince William, who will also be given the Duchy estate that includes the Highgrove property. As Prince of Wales, Charles also stayed at Welsh home Llwynywermod, but this is also owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, so again will now belong to Prince William (who recently moved to Windsor with Kate Middleton and their children). 

Where did the Queen used to live?

The Queen’s main residence was Buckingham Palace, but since the ten-year refurbishment started, she spent much of her time in the other royal estates. Windsor Castle was where she spent much of the pandemic. 

Read more: here’s everything you need to know about the Queen’s funeral.

Plus: here’s how to see the Queen lying in state in London.

More on the Queen

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