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Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Where should the Royals live?
The Royal Family should move out of Buckingham Palace into a new, more modern building, according to UK Cabinet Office Minister, Mo Mowlam.

Dr Mowlam is quoted in a magazine as saying that the Royals should move with the times and let the palace be used as a museum and art gallery.

But where should the Queen and her family go? Would the Millennium Dome make a charming conversion, or do you think the Royals should decamp outside the capital? Send in your suggestions for a new home for the Royal Family.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

Britons should acknowledge the Royal Family not only for its role in the long history of your country, but also as a uniquely British institution that draws interest and revenue from all parts of the world.
Doug Thibodeau, USA

It's very odd how most of the comments in favour of the Royals come from abroad, and most of the anti, or at least non-Royals are British. Surely that speaks volumes for the reality of living with the Royals and all the baggage that entails.
Graeme, England

I cannot understand why so many British people are readily prepared to lose touch with their two thousand-year-old history

Stacy, USA
I cannot understand why so many British people are readily prepared to lose touch with their two thousand-year-old history. It is so sad to read all those entries that state the only value of the Royal family is to generate revenue. What about the value of history? The Royal family are not Disneyland, not merely a tourist attraction, and not something that should be tossed away like so much rubbish. They embody Britain's history. Isn't that important to you anymore?
Stacy, USA

They should live in 10 Downing Street with the other royal family.
Paul, England

Remember what happend to the Russian Tzars?
Paul Levans, UK

Considering that Mo Mowlam sold her home for a sum, I understand, in excess of 500,000 and now lives in a grace-and-favour apartment in Admiralty Arch (goodness knows what market rent that would command), I think she has the devil's own cheek to make the comments she has about the Royal Family's occupation of Buckingham Palace.
David Jones, United Kingdom

The so called royal family are a bunch of parasites and religious bigots, let's be rid of them once and for all.
Derek, Scotland

Milton Keynes - the newest city and it used to have concrete cows.
Mike, London, England

Palaces are buildings fit for kings. It is easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than for a camel to enter the kingdom of God. Go figure
W, UK

They can all come and live at my place!
Catherine Ryan, Australia

Politicians should realise that the majority of people who live in this country don't want a monarchy or a millennium dome. People want a reasonable health service, education and help for those who need it most (the homeless). Instead of pampering to the needs of the so called "Elite" let the money go to the so call "subjects".
Ian Bailey, England

If the Royal family were to move out of Buckingham Palace, then I suggest that they live on an isolated island away from those who loathe them, we should not serve the Royal family, they should serve us.
Miss W Nasser, Liverpool,England

The Royal Family has taken too many blows lately. For me, if the British People have had too much of the Queen, I suggest she moves over to the "Dark Continent". We have got plenty of room here for her and hers.
Richard, Nigeria

Just think how everyone will miss the balcony scene if the Royals leave the Palace

Oscar Ivan Saldivar, Paraguay
Both the Royal Family and the Palace are icons of national unity representing epochs of grandeur that may come round again. Britain can, and must have a modern monarchy, and that can be done without scrapping all the traditions of royalty. Just think how everyone will miss the balcony scene if the Royals leave the Palace.
Oscar Ivan Saldivar, Paraguay

How sad that as we start the 21st century, a leading (and extremely popular) politician dares to make a comment regarding the British Royal Family and is duly slapped down and obviously made to apologise - but this is what happens when you are a "subject" and not a citizen"!!
Tom, UK

I don't think that Mo Mowlam's comments on the housing of the Royals merits any answer. Why don't politicians stick to answering questions about their own particular remits? It would be much better to hear clear and honest answers to questions about health, education and housing the homeless.
Anne, Scotland

Send them back to Germany where they belong.
Joe Darcy, UK

The Royal family need all their homes so that when they've all managed to get divorced they will have somewhere to live

Chris, UK
The Royals are welcome to move to our council estate here in Swansea. We have a great municipal park where the Queen can hold tea parties. The royal stables can be moved to the edge of the A48, and share the same grass as the gypsies' horses. Prince William could finish off his schooling at the local comprehensive. I could just imagine Liz and Phil taking in the evening air, with the faint aroma of burning stolen cars, whilst exercising the corgis. Come on - get real, the Royal family need all their homes so that when they've all managed to get divorced they will have somewhere to live.
Chris, UK

I usually have a greater deal of respect for Ms Mowlem. However, this Government has allowed the Millennium Dome to cost in excess of 800 million from the public purse, and it will attract only 7 million visitors this year. Official residences, including the Royal palaces cost the British taxpayer 7.2 million and attract many more tourists. Ms Mowlem would do well to consider which is the better value. Perhaps she should also consider giving up her own official residence before she tries to dictate the living arrangements of others.
K. Sadler, UK

Why rehouse them? Just abolish this outdated institution. The suggestion that tourists only visit the palaces because of the incumbent monarch is nonsense. What about the French chateaux or the old dukes' castles in Bavaria - the queues speak for themselves? The UK is supposed to be a democracy. Many are finding this increasingly difficult to square with our position as "subjects" to a constitutional monarch. The concept of monarchy is elitist, like it or not, since the right of birth takes precedence over ability. Such an institution cannot remain in a society that is battling to remove elitism from all other facets of national life.
John B, UK

It beats me why anyone would ever live in London out of choice. They deserve a medal for doing so when they have other homes in much more pleasant parts of the UK.
Tony Hague, UK

A refurbished Buckingham Palace would make an ideal flat complex to house London's homeless

Ricardo, England
A refurbished Buckingham Palace would make an ideal flat complex to house London's homeless. I am sure the secluded gardens would be very much appreciated. I'm sure an ideal flat in sheltered housing could be found for HRH. Now the kids have left home they don't really need all that space. After all, it is us and our ancestors who paid for the various castles and homes enjoyed by the Royals, it is not unreasonable to ask for some of them back.
Ricardo, England

It is interesting to follow the actions of politicians who fail. In the U.S. they concentrate on issues like drugs, law and order, foreign politics. U.K. (and also Australian) politicians are spared with such diversity, they just have to make a controversial comment on the monarchy. How cheap and unsporting of you, Dr Mowlam and co.
Andre Wyss, Switzerland

They should definitely be asked to move with the times a little bit. Mo is a woman who spent several years in office fighting the sort of bland assumptions that are so easy for we English to make. It is pleasing to see a little progressive thought coming from within the government.
But what about Chequers? Do any of our 'leaders' actually need these residences... or are we trying to stay ahead in a system we should be changing??
Tom Clarke, Australia

The Millennium Dome would be ideal. What about a ROYAL ZONE?
Mac, Scotland

What? The Royals move out of Buckingham Palace? What a crazy idea! The Royal family has always lived at Buckingham Palace; it makes for a major tourist attraction in Britain.
The Royal Family should definitely stay in Buckingham Palace and Mo Mowlam should be fired from the cabinet for making those remarks.
Jeff, USA

Dr Mowlam should find some other way of trying to hold onto her cabinet seat

F N Archer, Hong Kong SAR, China
The principle value of the Royal Family is nothing to do with tourism. It is that it is an expression of our history and our identity. The Queen herself has reigned for almost half a century and gives a visible continuity in the form of a highly respected person, which is a very valuable thing. Dr Mowlam should find some other way of trying to hold onto her cabinet seat.
F N Archer, Hong Kong SAR, China

Everyone always wants to know what the Royals are doing. Why not house them in one of the compartments of the London Eye so we can see what they do all day?
Richard Miller, USA

Politicians are always so good at telling how our money should be spent. The Royals have their faults but bring in a lot more money than politicians. I would much rather have several palaces which at least look nice than a stupid dome....
Judith Preston, Scotland

I think they should continue to live in Buckingham Palace, it is a place of history, and mystic importance in world history. It would be the same as making the President of the United States move out of the White House. It is one of the prestige things of Britain, don't change it because someone politically correct wants it to change. Some things are LEFT UNCHANGED.
David Halverson, USA

Considering the cost of President Clinton's last trip to Asia/India I wouldn't be too upset with the cost of housing the Royals

Kevin, US
Considering the cost of President Clinton's last trip to Asia/India I wouldn't be too upset with the cost of housing the Royals. That trip alone probably would have paid for the next 100 years or so of the second mortgage on the palace. Besides, without the royal family to write about how else would all UK journalists earn a living? My vote: leave them alone.
Kevin, US

Let the Queen live in a council flat in a housing estate, and then she can see how the rest of the world lives.
Jain, Scotland

The Royals shall stay at Buckingham Palace. They are Great History of Great Britain. This is good opportunity to show everyone your attitude to the history of the Great Britain kept splendidly so far.
Andrey Yatskevich, Vladivostok, Russia

Don't you think that enough money has already been wasted on irrelevant issues like this. The Queen already has a home, so for goodness sake let's start to spend some money on some serious issues. My grandfather has lived in the same house his whole life and is waiting for a hip replacement operation - now it seems irrelevant doesn't it? The politicians should have better things to do with their time...
Caroline Tompkins, Australia (English)

I'm sure some other country would be willing to provide the royals a comfortable exile, perhaps Kuwait.
Zladislaw, UK

The monarchy works, who wants a boring old republic? Buckingham Palace is the traditional home, why waste loads of cash on a new palace when we already have so many? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..."
Nick, Germany (UK citizen)

Who would all these republicans put in the Queen's place? President Two Jags?
Ed, England

The rest of the world adores our Royal Family and as Britons we should be proud of that.

Thelma Matuk, Germany
Mo Mowlem's remarks DO NOT reflect those of the British people. The Queen deserves to live in Buckingham Palace. She and the other members of the Royal Family work extremely hard in terms of charitable work and generate millions of pounds for the British economy through tourism. I would further add that she is the UK's number one ambassador. The rest of the world adores our Royal Family and as Britons we should be proud of that.
Thelma Matuk, Germany

Being a foreigner, I am not going to say whether I am for or against. What certainly irritates me is that politicians of all latitudes look for cheap publicity by airing populist remarks, particularly when their careers are past their prime. How depressing, especially considering Dr Mowlam knew the Royals would not reply.
Mr Andrea Costa, Italy

Give them the choice of Sandringham or Balmoral on the proviso that the whole family of parasites live there. All other properties and land to be returned to the public domain without any compensation.
S Arnold, Australia

I have read that London is the biggest tourist destination of the world - 30 million visitors a year. Do you know how many will go to London, if the Royal Family leaves Buckingham? Roundly zero.
Francisco Carlos de Moraes, Brazil

Let's have a new palace built which will be in keeping with the modern age and a magnet for tourists

John Brownlee, England
Certainly the Royals should move out of Buckingham Palace. It's old, outdated and inefficient. But first, let's have a new palace built which will be in keeping with the modern age and a magnet for tourists whilst providing the right environment for the head of state to meet and entertain visiting heads of state and other dignitaries.
John Brownlee, England

How refreshing to hear a prominent member of the Government (i.e. an elected MP) speak out against archaic inherited privilege. She is absolutely right and the Royals should move as far away as soon as possible. Well done Dr M.
Tom Paine, UK

I guess we should be thankful Mo did not suggest the Royal Family set up lodgings in the Dome, the shameful cost of which would have paid for royal expenditures well into the next decade.
Peter C. Kohler, USA

Why don't they move into Posh Spice and Beckham's penthouse?

John, UK
Why don't they move into Posh Spice and Beckham's penthouse? It has just come on to the market and they would have lots in common with the other neighbours who look up to old money but frown upon the new.
John, UK

Given that the majority of modern buildings in London are disgusting, it is far better that the Queen stays where she is. Frankly, I feel this is insulting to the Queen and that MPs should find better things to do.
Tim Crowther, UK

Stick her on a council estate and let her see how the rest of us live!
Huw, UK

What about 10 Downing Street? I bet Tony Blair's ego would be happy to swap residences!
Ed Bayley, USA (English)

A new palace designed to look stunning would be a great advert for Britain

Chris Brown, UK
A new palace designed to look stunning would be a great advert for Britain. But, frankly, HM would not dream of telling Dr Mowlam where to live so what gives her the right to gain cheap points by doing so.
Also, why do we always have to have some 'nobody cares about the Royals' fool every time they are mentioned here? Leave us alone to have a decent debate.
Chris Brown, UK

The cost of moving them would probably be higher than the amount that could be made out of the palaces!
Sarah, England

There's a terrific Barratt Homes development on the outskirts of Wolverhampton

Adrian Blewitt, England
There's a terrific Barratt Homes development on the outskirts of Wolverhampton which would be ideally suited to the Royal's. There's some excellent Two bedroomed house's for the Old Couple with Granny Flat attached and plenty of one bedroomed apartments for all their hangers on. Buckingham Palace could then be used to house all the Homeless in London!!
Adrian Blewitt, England

What is Dr Mowlam ON these days to make such a silly suggestion. Not only is it extremely rude to suggest that the Windsors leave their home, but for it to become yet another museum, no doubt left for the public purse to keep in a city which already has so much 'culture'. Then there would be the cost of setting up a replacement royal residence.
Just leave the Queen alone, she and Prince Philip have both worked long passed retirement age and have shown nothing but dedication and loyalty to their country.
Steph, UK

One of the main arguments for keeping the monarchy has always been the effect on tourism if the Royals go! Why should getting rid of the monarchy have an effect on tourism? We'll still have the Royal palaces and the history. Countries such as France and Italy still have the tourists why should we be any different?
Dave Howe, UK

Westminster Palace should be turned into a post office, and No 10 would be refurbished and renovated into flats for single-parents

Matt Grubb, UK
If the Queen is to be forced out of her own house, then it's only fair that Ms Mowlam and the rest of the politicians are forcefully evicted from the publicly-owned buildings they live and work in. The tax paying public should not have to subsidise these squatters any longer. Westminster Palace should be turned into a post office, and No 10 would be refurbished and renovated into flats for single-parents.
Matt Grubb, UK

How about Mars?
Matt, UK

So Mo Mowlam believes that Buckingham Palace should become a museum. But it already is - stuffed full of ancient relics known as the Royal Family. The monarchy is old hat, and has no true place in C21st. Good on yer, Mo.
Dave G, UK

I'd prefer Mo Mowlam to give up politics. The Queen and her family are constantly the target of anyone who thinks it clever to attack them to further their own pathetic careers.
Neil Blewett, Cyprus

Who cares? Nobody pays any attention to them anymore, so why does it matter where they live?
Carol, UK

I'm sure Westminster Council has some temporary B and B accommodation they could put them up in. The Corgis would have to go though.
Trevor, UK

The Royal family don't interfere with our lives (by not being involved in politics), so we, in turn, should not interfere with theirs. I think it's a very wicked, disgraceful and distasteful way of pleasing some members of the public on Dr Mowlam's part.
Deborah Chan, UK.

What most people who oppose the Royal Family fail to mention is the vast amount of investment and tourism the family draws to the UK

Chris, England
What most people who oppose the Royal Family fail to mention is the vast amount of investment and tourism the family draws to the UK. Look at the Britannia. No sooner had the Government scrapped it, businesses were asking for a new national vessel on which to entertain foreign guests to help close business deals.
Chris, England

Of course they should decamp. And give all the nation's possessions supposedly held 'in trust' to the public. And that includes the millions of acres of land in Scotland and elsewhere. They could always return to the true home of the House of Windsor - Germany.
Danton, France

If this was anybody else, then the heading would be different - 'Families ordeal of Eviction threat'. Buckingham Palace is our monarch's home and number one tourist attraction. If the Royals move out then it is just another building. Mo Mowlam should resign!
Mike, England

I am not a fervent monarchist or republican. I think the Royals should continue to live in Buckingham Palace, with their holiday "cottage" in Balmoral. However, it is the countless other pads which the public are sick of. People think it is ridiculous that they often seem to live alone or in pairs in enormous palaces, rather than "squeezing" into the hundreds of rooms in Buck House!
Paul, UK

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27 Jun 00 | Politics
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