King Charles III leaves Buckingham Palace empty for five years due to £370m makeover
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Buckingham Palace will remain empty for at least five years as the official residence of the British monarch is in the middle of a £370 million repair programme.
Instead, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will live in Clarence House three days a week, previously the home of the Queen Mother until her death in 2002.
The royal couple will also stay at Windsor Castle two days a week and spend weekends at Sandringham in Norfolk. Charles will continue to use the Palace for meetings and work commitments.
The royal residence in the capital is halfway through its £370 million 10-year repair programme.
It has 775 rooms including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
The repairs are not expected to be complete until at least 2027, but It could take even longer as there are reports that the repairs are way behind schedule.
Since 1837, Buckingham Palace has been the official home of British monarchs. It was first used as a royal palace by Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth II lived there until March 2020, but then moved to Windsor Castle due to the pandemic.
It is used for official events and receptions held by the King, while the state rooms are open to the public from July to October.
Taxpayers are footing the bill for the renovations via the Sovereign Grant. This is the yearly fee paid by the Government to the reigning monarch. A third of the budget is specifically for the upkeep of the royal palaces.
In 2019, the cost for maintain all the royal residences cost £17.1 million, compared with £18.6 million in 2018.