Prince Charles plans to keep monarchy 'modern and agile'
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For most, a life before Queen Elizabeth II is beyond memory as Buckingham Palace gears up to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee this year. But waiting in the wings is her son, Prince Charles – who became the longest serving Prince of Wales in 2017, after he broke the previous record held by Edward VII.
When he ascends the throne, King Charles is likely to implement a few key changes that will have varied success as he establishes the tone of his reign.
Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, told Express.co.uk that Prince Charles will look to cultivate a new image of the monarchy, updating its appearance for the public as it adjusts to the Queen’s absence.
He added: “There’ll be certain efforts in terms of PR.
“I think there’ll be be two things it will do – one of which will be fairly popular.
“[Charles] said that he wants to open up the palaces, and maybe not live in Buckingham Palace – to let that be open all year round.
“They should have done that years ago, and it shouldn’t be his decision to make, but if he does that, then, great.”
Prince Charles’s intentions to ‘slim down’ the monarchy have long been reported, with the royal residences figuring into his calculations.
A friend of the Prince of Wales told the Mail on Sunday in October: “The property question is on the ‘to do’ list.”
They added: “The Prince of Wales strongly believes that these places have got to deliver something for the public beyond just being somewhere for members of the Royal Family to live.
“Everything is seen through the lens of the question: ‘What value is this offering to the public?’
“Everybody recognises it makes no sense to run so many residences but if you give them up entirely you will never get them back when Prince George and the younger Royals grow up and need somewhere to live.”
Charles’s personal friend said: “Despite what everybody thinks about him not wanting to live there, he will certainly have accommodation there – but it will be a much more modest flat-above-the-shop situation akin to that of the Prime Minister at Downing Street.”
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Currently, Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer months.
Tourists can wander the halls from July until October each year, but it is off-limits to curious onlookers in the winter months.
Aside from changes to how the royal residences operate, Mr Smith added Charles will want to pave the way as a monarch who advocates on social issues, commenting that this is likely to reinforce the social relevance of the monarchy in the modern world.
He said Charles “also wants to be a vocal head of state, someone who speaks up on issues, and that is where he’s going to find himself in quite a lot of hot water.”
He added that his son, Prince William, has joined the Prince of Wales in environmental crusading, citing the Duke of Cambridge’s nascent Earthshot Prize and the funds funnelled into it by Kensington Palace.
Ultimately, Mr Smith commented, the Royal Family’s objective as they look towards a post-Elizabeth future is “to look like they are part of the zeitgeist rather than an anomaly within it”.
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