King Charles III is now head of the British monarchy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II—and he's planning on doing things differently, royal sources say. "There is plenty of freedom for each monarch to do different things in their own way," says one former courtier. "We think there is only one way for it to be done because we have only ever seen one monarch in most of our lifetimes so we can't remember anyone else doing it another way." Here's what King Charles will do next, according to royal sources.
Downsizing Buckingham Palace
King Charles is reportedly planning on turning Buckingham Palace from a fully-functioning household to a simple apartment, in the manner of the prime minister's residence in Downing Street. Other sources are saying he won't live there at all. "After 200 years at the heart of the monarchy, Buckingham Palace's days could be numbered when Charles becomes King," says royal commentator Duncan Larcombe. "Rumors are gaining pace he will ditch the building to reside at Clarence House."
A More Accessible Monarch
While Queen Elizabeth maintained a dignified distance and mystique from her subjects (hence her alleged motto "Never explain, never complain"), King Charles is a more open book. "He has lived through the decline of deference," says a source. "He has been much more open than the Queen because he comes from a generation that has been much more open. We will see his humanity and his humor, as we have always done."
A Political King?
The monarchy is supposed to be above politics, but King Charles has made his opinions about climate change and agriculture quite clear—and experts don't think that will change. "My suspicion is that he won't meddle in an obvious way, but he will quite legitimately talk to his Prime Minister in a more opinionated way than his mother," says royal biographer Penny Junor. "He is who he is, and he has some firm views which are based on knowledge. He is an incredibly knowledgeable man. He has spoken to the experts in all these fields he is interested in. To expect him to have a Prime Minister who comes in and talks to him about agriculture or climate change, he is not going to just sit there and say 'would you like another cup of tea.' But I don't think he will be writing black spider memos."
A Smaller, Streamlined Monarchy
Sources say King Charles will oversee a significantly reduced monarchy, with just a handful of official figures included. The eight key figures are said to be: the Queen Consort Camilla; the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge; Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Anne, Princess Royal. Not on the list? Prince Andrew, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle.
Invitations To Buckingham Palace
According to sources, King Charles will use his power and influence to bring people together and effect change that way. "He has always collected interesting people and he won't stop doing that. He invites people to Sandringham for beach weekends," a friend of the King says. "He could use lunches at Buckingham Palace to get people together. He has tremendous convening power and he will keep on using it."