Great Britain

Charles to open up palaces to the public when he becomes king – reports

The Prince of Wales reportedly plans to give people greater access to the royal palaces when he becomes king.

Charles wants Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral to be transformed from “private spaces to public places”, according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper said the heir to the throne wants these royal residences to open more widely for longer periods during the year.

Charles is reportedly speaking to the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other royals about the plans.

The newspaper said Charles is considering opening Buckingham Palace and gardens throughout the year when he is king, including when he is in residence.

In April, high public demand for tickets to picnic on Buckingham Palace’s lawns and explore its garden forced the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) to temporarily stop taking new bookings.

Thousands logged on to the website of the charity, which organises the openings of a number of royal residences, hoping to book a ticket after the self-guided garden tours were launched.

But the RCT said “very high” interest meant it had to suspend sales.

The traditional summer opening of Buckingham Palace’s state rooms and themed exhibition, which normally welcomes thousands, has been cancelled for a second year due to the pandemic.

But self-guided garden tours have been announced from July to September, giving the paying public the chance to wander through the Queen’s private 16 hectare (39 acre) site and discover the wildlife-rich oasis in the heart of London.

Its landscape dates back to the 1820s when George IV turned Buckingham House into a palace, and today it is home to a rich biodiverse habitat, with more than 1,000 trees and 320 different wildflowers and grasses.

Visitors will be able to explore a route through the garden that takes in its 156-metre-long herbaceous border, plane trees planted by and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and views of the island and its beehives across the 1.4 hectare (3.5 acre) lake, and to picnic on one of the sweeping lawns will be part of the visit.

From May to September, small guided tours of the palace will begin.

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