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Most people dream of what it would be like to live in a palace. Well, some members of the royal family aren’t big fans of their most famous London residence for some unsettling reasons.

Buckingham Palace, which was the late Queen Elizabeth II‘s homebase and where she lived for much of her life and raised her children, is massive. It has 828,000 square feet of living space and boasts a staggering 775 rooms. These include 19 Staterooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 bedrooms for staffers, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. There are high ceilings, plenty of regal architecture throughout, and multi-tier chandeliers in several rooms. But the famed palace also has some things that aren’t very charming including rodents and asbestos, and everyone has to watch out for falling debris.

Buckingham Palace
View of the front of Buckingham Palace at night | Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace is undergoing major renovations

A major renovation, which started in 2019, is a decade-long project that will cost upwards of $475 million but is necessary to repair the palace’s aging infrastructure.

“The palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing, and heating have not been updated since the 1950s,” said Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the privy purse.

He added, “The building’s infrastructure is now in urgent need of an overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure leading to fire or flood and incalculable damage to the building and priceless works of art in the royal collection.”

There are more mice at the palace than people

Buckingham Palace ballroom
Buckingham Palace ballroom | POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

Over the years, it’s been reported that Buckingham Palace may not have actually been a safe place for the queen or any royals to live.

At times, masonry would fall from the ceiling. In 2007, a chunk narrowly missed hitting Princess Anne in the head. Moreover, the roof leaks and instead of having it fixed, staffers strategically placed buckets around certain areas to catch the water.

A few years back asbestos had to be removed and prior to that, there was a rodent problem and pest control had to be called in. When the latter issue was made public a palace spokesperson released a statement saying, “The ratio of mice to men is very low and there’s no question of the queen having to flee to Windsor.”

That spokesperson denied that rats were also present inside the palace.

King Charles III is not going to live there

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles | Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage

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Even before his mother’s death, there had been numerous reports that Charles had no interest in making the palace his primary residence when he became the monarch. While whatever could be lurking in the walls likely isn’t appealing to him, there are other reasons he reportedly doesn’t want to live there.

“I know he is no fan of ‘the big house,’ as he calls the palace,” a source told The Sunday Times. “He doesn’t see it as a ­viable future home or a house that’s fit for purpose in the modern world. He feels its upkeep, both from a cost and environmental perspective is not sustainable.”

The Times also reported that Charles would like to turn the palace into a museum complete with a Queen Elizabeth II exhibit.

“It makes perfect sense commercially to offset the costs of running such a big place by extending availability to the ticket-buying public,” the source said.