The Duke of Cambridge is ‘supportive’ of the Queen‘s move to make his stepmother Queen consort.
Prince William was not part of the decision-making process, the Daily Mail understands, but is ‘respectful’ of the logic of his grandmother’s decision.
So far, there has been no comment from Prince Harry on the weekend’s developments.
Sources say that while William and Camilla’s was not an easy relationship at first – or indeed for a number of years after her marriage to his father – the second in line to the throne is pragmatic about her role in his father’s life and, now, the future of the monarchy.
‘The duke is supportive,’ a well-placed palace source confirmed to the Daily Mail last night.
Another emphasised that while he was not part of the final decision-making process, the prince, 39, would have discussed the issue with his father and, effectively, given his blessing.
‘None of this can have been easy for him,’ one insider said.
‘There were huge family rows in the early stages of Charles and Camilla’s marriage as everyone found their feet. William didn’t have the best relationship with his father back then.
‘But he sees that Camilla had made his father happy and it is something he has come to terms with.
‘His relationship with the Prince of Wales is better than it ever has been. He is not particularly close to his stepmother but they get on perfectly well and are quite the blended family now. He also respects his grandmother and her judgment more than anything in the world. If it is right for her, then it will be right for him.’
The Duke of Cambridge is ‘supportive’ of the Queen’s move to make his stepmother Queen consort. Prince William was not part of the decision-making process, the Daily Mail understands, but is ‘respectful’ of the logic of his grandmother’s decision. Above: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with the Duchess of Cornwall at the premiere of James Bond film No Time to Die in September last year
Sources say that while theirs was not an easy relationship at first – or indeed for a number of years after her marriage to his father – the second in line to the throne is pragmatic about Camilla’s role in his father’s life and, now, the future of the monarchy. Above: William with Camilla and Kate Middleton with Prince Charles
So far, there has been no comment from Prince Harry (pictured with Meghan in Ireland in July 2018) on the weekend’s developments
Friends say that William still believes he has a role to champion his late mother’s legacy and will never shy away from speaking about Princess Diana, her achievements or the way she was treated, not just by the Royal Family but by the media and establishment.
‘But as everyone says, time is a great healer – in many different ways,’ said one insider.
The insertion of his wife’s title was included as part of a general reworking of plans for the Westminster Abbey ceremony up to five years ago, a senior palace source said.
It can also be revealed that Camilla will have the Queen Mother’s priceless platinum and diamond crown placed on her head when Charles is made king. It was created for King George VI’s coronation in 1937.
On Sunday, the Prince of Wales made clear his gratitude to the Queen for her support, saying that he and Camilla – who he described as his ‘darling wife’ – were ‘deeply conscious of the honour represented’ by his mother’s wish.
On Saturday, the Queen announced that the Duchess of Cornwall will become Queen Consort when her husband accedes to the throne
He marked the Queen’s historic Accession Day, heralding the start of her Platinum Jubilee year, by saying her ‘devotion to the welfare of all her people inspires still greater admiration with each passing year’.
Buckingham Palace issued a glorious new photograph of the 95-year-old monarch – sitting in an armchair at Sandringham with her ever-present red despatch box of official papers – to mark her historic 70 years on the throne.
Her father, King George VI, died at the Norfolk residence on February 6, 1952, at the age of 56, leaving his elder daughter as Queen at the age of just 25.
In a highly significant announcement at the weekend, Her Majesty used her unprecedented milestone anniversary to express her desire for her daughter-in-law to be fully acknowledged when Charles succeeds her.
Queen Elizabeth II and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall pictured together during a visit to Ebony Horse Club & Community Riding Centre in London in 2013
She wrote: ‘When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes king, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me, and it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.’
It emerged last night that Prince Charles will move into Buckingham Palace when he becomes king – with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge potentially taking over Windsor Castle.
In recent years there has been speculation that the official London residence of the monarch will become a ‘working hub’ for the monarchy, with no members of the Royal Family in residence, and opened up more to the public as a visitor attraction.
But the Daily Mail understands that the Prince of Wales is ‘firmly of the view that it’s the visible symbol of the monarchy in the nation’s capital and therefore must be his home’.
‘There is no question about it,’ a source revealed yesterday. ‘HRH’s view is that you need a monarch at monarchy HQ. This has never been in doubt.’
Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, first used as the official London residence for British monarchs by Queen Victoria in 1837. It is also a working building, hosting almost 100,000 guests and attracting more than 15 million tourists every year.
The 775-room building is undergoing a £369 million, taxpayer-funded refurbishment. Its electrical cabling, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s, while almost every room is in need of a complete overhaul to prevent long-term damage to the building and its contents.
All members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, have moved out while the colossal project is under way. It is due to be completed in 2027.
Charles and Camilla stand together during the official ceremonial welcome for the Chinese State Visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan to London in 2015
It has been repeatedly reported that Charles has decided not to relocate to the Palace when it is ready to be lived in again and he accedes to the throne. But sources have told the Mail this is ‘categorically untrue’.
‘The Prince of Wales will not move into Buckingham Palace before he is king. But when he is, he absolutely will,’ a source said.
‘Just like the Queen, it will effectively be in the ‘flat above the shop’. He feels it is right, just as the Queen does, to work out of Buckingham Palace.
‘The Palace will still be a working and entertaining hub and will also still be open to visitors. It is a hugely important tourist attraction.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, pictured as she leaves the State Opening of Parliament in 2013. The Queen has used her Platinum Jubilee message to the nation to back the Duchess of Cornwall as Queen Camilla
‘But the prince can still live there at the same time, much like he does at Highgrove, which is also open to the public.’
Charles, 73, and the Duchess of Cornwall currently live in Clarence House, the former London residence of the Queen Mother. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also lived there in the early years of their marriage.
It is likely to be turned into a work or entertaining hub – with a view to one of the Cambridges’ children living there in the future.
William and Kate will keep their domestic and work base at Kensington Palace. They have lived there in Apartment 1A since 2017.
The couple also have Anmer Hall on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, given to them by the Queen. Sources said they believed the couple will ultimately inherit Windsor Castle. It is likely Anmer Hall will revert to the Queen or her heir, who would rent it out.
Clarence House declined to comment.
So who will be crowned winners in the great royal Game of Homes? As it emerges Prince Charles will move into Buckingham Palace when he becomes King, RICHARD KAY examines the options for senior royals in a property reshuffle
By Richard Kay for the Daily Mail
Having secured one key element of his future – his mother’s blessing for Camilla to be Queen at his side – Prince Charles is ready to settle another, and it is no less weighty an issue.
According to royal sources, as king, Charles will live at Buckingham Palace.
For years uncertainty has swirled around these plans. It was said that he disliked the Palace, that he found the place too large and too impersonal, and that he would choose to remain at Clarence House, the home he inherited from his beloved grandmother the Queen Mother.
Such a move opened up the real possibility of Charles being the first monarch since King William IV not to live ‘over the shop’. Instead it was claimed that the 775-room Palace might become a full-time museum.
As things stand, 19 state rooms are open to the public for a limited time between late July and early October.
But in recent times, with the Palace midway through a ten-year £369million taxpayer-funded renovation, the prince is understood to have been mulling over the options, together with his goal of slimming down the monarchy once he ascends the throne.
Having secured one key element of his future – his mother’s blessing for Camilla to be Queen at his side – Prince Charles is ready to settle another, and it is no less weighty an issue
‘He is firmly of the view that it is the most distinct symbol of the monarchy in the heart of the nation’s capital and therefore it must be his home,’ a close friend has confirmed. ‘He also thinks it would be strange to have Buckingham Palace without royals living there.’
The absence of a live-in monarch would surely open up questions about the purpose of the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which is one of the biggest visitor attractions in London.
‘What would be the point of putting on such a colourful spectacle for an empty building?’ added the friend.
The prince also believes there is no real reason why more of the Palace shouldn’t be open to the public and for longer – but without emptying it of royals.
‘It would make sense commercially by helping to offset the cost of running the place by extending the ticket-buying availability,’ says a source.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the refurbishment, no member of the Royal Family is in residence – the first time in living memory that the Palace has been used merely as an office and not a home.
For the best part of two years the Queen has been based at Windsor Castle and neither Prince Andrew nor Princess Anne, who have apartments at the Palace, have been able to use them because of the building work.
It is likely then that, as king, Prince Charles will follow the tradition set by his mother of spending weekday nights under the roof of Buckingham Palace.
Under Charles it would become the centre of an energetic and cosmopolitan court with recitals, concert and lavish balls, just as it was when the Queen and Prince Philip were younger.
But as the foundations of the prince’s elevation to monarch are slowly but surely being laid, intriguing new conundrums arise. And the biggest of those is what courtiers jokingly refer to as ‘Game of Homes’, or a royal version of musical chairs.
In addition to Buckingham Palace, Charles will inherit Windsor Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral. They will add to his already impressive roster of homes: Highgrove in Gloucestershire, Birkhall on Royal Deeside and his current London base Clarence House (pictured)
King Charles will have a formidable portfolio of properties at his disposal and the patronage to decide who gets what.
For some time, part of his preparations for kingship has included an overhaul of the vast royal estate and it is linked to his judgment that the long-term future of the monarchy rests on a less bloated, more nimble House of Windsor.
The removal of Prince Andrew from royal duties and the self-imposed exile of the peevish Prince Harry has given this campaign an unexpected turbo-boost, but that is before the merry-go-round of palaces.
In addition to Buckingham Palace, Charles will inherit Windsor Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral. They will add to his already impressive roster of homes: Highgrove in Gloucestershire, Birkhall on Royal Deeside and his current London base Clarence House.
For a man who knows that the success of the monarchy rests on its modesty, if not its frugality, this is an indecently large collection.
I understand nothing is set in stone but some provisional decisions have been made. For example Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, who will become the Prince and Princess of Wales, have no wish to move from their current home Kensington Palace to Clarence House.
They have turned the late Princess Margaret’s somewhat dated Kensington Palace apartment into a comfortable, modern home in which their three children are happily settled.
It is also the place William considers home because of the years he spent there as a boy with his mother Princess Diana.
He has no such emotional attachment to Clarence House, which has not had young children echoing down its corridors since the then Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh lived there as new parents to the young Charles and infant Anne in 1951. For Charles, of course, the connection was his grandmother whose home it became after the death of King George VI.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, who will become the Prince and Princess of Wales, have no wish to move from their current home Kensington Palace to Clarence House
So if not William, who might inherit Clarence House? One thought was that it would be transferred to Prince Harry but his departure to California means that is no longer viable.
Another possibility is that it be put in mothballs for Prince George, for when Charles’s grandson comes of age in 2034.
Charles will certainly want Sandringham in Norfolk, where he is developing a new organic farm, and Balmoral because of its historical ties to the Royal Family. Birkhall, his bolthole on the Scottish estate, may be earmarked as a refuge for Camilla, who has adored the place ever since the honeymoon they spent there.
The future of Highgrove, though, is a knottier problem for the prince. It was his first home of his own, purchased for him in 1980, and he has invested money and time in transforming the grounds.
For Charles, sentimental ties are strong and with neither William nor Harry expressing any real interest in taking it on, the prince has been exploring an alternative solution.
His plan, which was being masterminded by his former valet Michael Fawcett – forced to quit over the cash-for-honours scandal – was to turn Highgrove into an English version of Dumfries House, the Scottish mansion the prince saved for the nation.
Previously owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the plan was for it to be run by the Prince’s Foundation and open to the public with Charles using it for five weeks or so each year – and paying rent for the privilege.
Of the big-ticket properties, this leaves Windsor Castle, for 1,000 years the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the home of Britain’s royalty.
Charles, surely, would want to take ownership of this slice of history with its galleries of armour and heraldry, as well as neighbouring St George’s Chapel, traditional burial place of kings and queens.
But apparently it is earmarked for William and Kate. Charles finds it far too noisy – the castle is directly under the Heathrow flight-path. But as an official ruefully remarked: ‘Nothing is set in stone. These are decisions the prince does not have to make yet.’
For William, however, things might be more pressing. He and Kate have been looking at senior schools for both George and Princess Charlotte and their focus has been on the west of London.
This means their Norfolk home Anmer Hall will be less useful as a country retreat.
Speculation has grown that Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew’s pile in Windsor Great Park, might be a more suitable residence for the Cambridges now that the Duke of York’s children have homes of their own. But it is unlikely to be made available in the immediate future.
Which is why William has taken a look at Frogmore House, the Grade I-listed mansion close to the Windsor burial grounds where Prince Harry and Meghan held their wedding reception.
William and Kate have been looking at senior schools for both George and Princess Charlotte and their focus has been on the west of London. This means their Norfolk home Anmer Hall (pictured) will be less useful as a country retreat
It fell out of favour as a royal residence in the 1920s but it would certainly fulfil William’s requirement of a secure and private spot within the royal estate.
The duke and duchess have also looked at Fort Belvedere, a turreted former folly where King Edward VIII signed his Abdication papers, which has been in private hands for some years.
It has a pool and a tennis court but is understood to be too small for the couple’s purposes.
One property they have not considered is Frogmore Cottage, the former servants’ quarters next to Frogmore House that, briefly, became the home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before they left British shores. It remains their home should they ever return.
William’s determination to remain at Kensington Palace blocks one of his father’s long-cherished schemes – to turn the palace into a permanent home for the treasures of the Royal Collection.
‘After the death of Diana he thought it would be a positive step in closing ‘KP’ as a royal residence and making it a museum,’ says a courtier. ‘Unfortunately all the other residents of the palace were none too keen on the idea and it was quietly dropped.’
But two royal homes are unlikely to be affected by this great shake-up.
They are Bagshot Park, Prince Edward’s Surrey home – which belongs to the Crown Estate – and Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, where Princess Anne lives and which was bought for her by the Queen as a wedding present.
For now this version of royal housey-housey is just a game. But at some stage in the future it will become deadly serious.
The last time royal homes changed hands was on the death of the Queen Mother in 2002. The beneficiaries then were Charles and his brother Andrew and the transactions straightforward.
When this much larger portfolio of royal homes comes up for grabs, the stakes will be a great deal higher.