King Charles Reportedly Planning Big Change in Royal Housing
King Charles III plans on making another big change to the royal family's housing policy, asking his relatives to finance their own homes. Up until recently, members of the royal family typically lived in properties owned by the crown and were granted stipends to maintain them. According to a report by the Evening Standard, the new king is rolling out a plan that will eventually put this practice to an end.
King Charles has made headlines in recent months for evicting his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage, but now insiders say that was not a targeted attack. Instead, they say the king is trying to cut costs wherever possible and shrink the financial footprint of the royal family as a whole. He reportedly tasked two members of his staff with finding inefficiencies in the "top-heavy royal household." They are Vice-Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Household and the Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens.
Under the new rumored rules, members of the royal family will be expected to pay rent on their homes and pay for their own furnishings and other needs. The idea is to reduce the number of royals who depend on the crown for major financial support. The Evening Standard report mentions several members of the royal family living in apartments in London that are subsidized by the crown – not on a temporary basis but for years, even across generations.
"Over time, that is going to change," an anonymous palace source said. "Properties will be let at commercial rates going forward and to people outside the family. Where it is in a palace environment they will of course be security vetted." The king hopes that this will help the crown be "fit for purpose" – meaning that the monarchy's spending will more closely reflect what the people of the U.K. need from their royalty. At the same time, the king hopes to reinvest this money into the palace staff. He hopes to offer competitive salaries and incentives to keep strong administrators on hand.
"The boss wants effective people in effective positions doing effective jobs being paid appropriately," an insider said. They added that the heir, Prince William is working closely with his father on these changes and apparently agrees with this course of action. While it was described as a five-year plan, it sounds like changes like this will continue for at least another generation as the royal family adapts to the modern era.