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King Charles opens doors to London home after breaking royal tradition

King Charles and Queen Camilla are reportedly planning to travel to Birkhall in Scotland

King Charles' London home Buckingham Palace
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Have you always wanted to see what it's really like to live in a royal residence? We know we have, which is why we're delighted to hear that King Charles is opening the doors to his London home over the coming weeks. 

Buckingham Palace does not usually allow the public to tour the property in January, but Charles and Camilla have made an exception with the Royal Collection Trust announcing the iconic landmark will be available to tour every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 26 February 2024.

The State Dining Room where Prince William and Princess Kate held their wedding reception © WPA Pool
The State Dining Room where Prince William and Princess Kate held their wedding reception

The 1.5-hour guided tour will take visitors through the State Rooms, which are steeped in history having played host to some very important events over the past few years. For example, the State Dining Room was used during Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding reception in 2011, and the White Drawing Room is where Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recorded some of her Christmas broadcasts.

As well as 19 state rooms, the 775-room palace also features 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms, as well as a chapel, a post office, an indoor swimming pool, a doctor's office and a movie theatre. However, it is not King Charles and Queen Camilla's primary residence in the capital, as they have chosen to continue living at Clarence House.

King Charles' royal residence Buckingham Palace© Dan Kitwood
King Charles' royal residence Buckingham Palace

The late monarch also reportedly favoured Clarence House upon her accession to the throne. Royal biographer Penny Junor stated in her book The Firm: "None of them wanted to go. They loved Clarence House; it was a family home, but Winston Churchill, who was then Prime Minister, insisted upon it."

It is not known whether Charles will be moving to Buckingham Palace following its 10-year renovation, which is estimated to cost around £369 million. 

King Charles III and Queen Camilla lead royals including Princess Kate at St. Mary Magdalene Church © Shutterstock
King Charles III and Queen Camilla lead royals including Princess Kate arriving at St. Mary Magdalene Church

Charles and Camilla recently left London behind and travelled to Sandringham in Norfolk in December for the traditional Christmas break alongside the likes of the Prince and Princess of Wales. However, the monarch has reportedly chosen to break with royal tradition in January.

Queen Elizabeth traditionally stayed in Sandringham throughout the festive period, only leaving the home in February after she had commemorated her ascension to the throne and the anniversary of her father's death. 

Charles at his Scottish residence, Birkhall, in Ballater© Getty
Charles is reportedly spending January at his Scottish residence, Birkhall

Instead, Charles is expected to travel to Birkhall on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, according to The Telegraph.

The property holds a special place in Charles's heart, as it played host to his proposal to Camilla and their honeymoon in 2005. Affectionately describing Birkhall as "a special place", King Charles told Country Life that his affinity with the home extends beyond his relationship with Camilla.

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“It is such a special place, particularly because it was made by my grandmother. It is a childhood garden, and all I’ve done, really, is enhance it a bit,” he said. 

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