If King Charles III is in the mood for splashing around in the secret pool of Buckingham Palace, it's King First. The monarch can also set the water temperature at will.
London – It's a bit of a sensation that you can jump into the pool in the most representative castle of the British monarchy between a politician's reception and a gala dinner. But that's not all: almost every member of the Royal Family has learned to swim here. But now, in addition to the pure existence of the secret swimming pool in Buckingham Palace, the strange rules of royal pool use by King Charles III (74) are now coming to light.
Almost all royals learned to swim in the secret pool at Buckingham Palace
In the near future, the rush to jump into the refreshing water behind palace walls is likely to decrease significantly, because Charles III has made cuts to the water temperature. The king is committed to making the royal household emission-free by 2050. So it makes sense to reduce the energy consumption of the royal family. According to a palace source, "A few people using the pool have noticed that the temperature has dropped. They were told that the king had turned down the heating."
Gone are the days when even the youngest – Prince George (9), Princess Charlotte (8) and Prince Louis (5) – learned not to sink in the secret swimming pool in cosy water temperatures. They succeeded Queen Elizabeth II (96, †2022) and her sister Margret (71, † 2002). Prince William (40) and Prince Harry (38) also made their first swims in the pool at Buckingham Palace. Princess Kate, 41, was often seen driving from her former home in Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace to take her children swimming.
The royal builder of the pool was the father Queen Elizabeth II.
According to townandcountrymag.com, King George VI (56, † 1952) commissioned the construction of the pool in 1938 when he wanted to get his family used to their public role. "While they were still living at Piccadilly, his daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, had taken swimming lessons at the Bath Club, and no one had paid much attention to the two little girls in their proper swimsuits," writes Edna Healey in "The Queen's House: A Secret History of Buckingham Palace." "But now that Princess Elizabeth was heir to the throne, they attracted too much attention. Thus, in the summer of 1938, it was decided to build a swimming pool and squash court on the north side of the palace in one of Nash's conservatories."
Prince Charles celebrated his first "pool parties" in the palace's swimming pool
Prince Charles even used the swimming pool as a schoolboy to sail model boats. His classmate, Richard Alston, 74, recalled at the Daily Mail: "We all made little wooden model boats, and Charles invited us to the swimming pool at Buckingham Palace to sail them. When we were about to launch our boat, he took out his replica of the Britannia. Life wasn't fair sometimes."
Staff have always been allowed to use the pool
Between the 775 rooms of Buckingham Palace is the swimming pool, where everyone from Prince Philip (99, † 2021) to Princess Diana (36, † 1997) has made their rounds. In order to ensure occupancy, the staff has always been allowed to use the pool, but only if they adhere to certain regulations.
King Charles prefers to bathe in the secret swimming pool at Buckingham Palace. As a cost-saving measure, he has downregulated the water temperature of the pool (photomontage). © Everett Collection/Imago & Jane Barlow/dpa
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"The rules are that if an employee swims and one of the royals shows up, he has to get out of the water unless he is invited to stay, which often happens," writes royal author Brian Hoey in "Not In Front of the Corgis: Secrets Of Life Behind The Royal Curtains". So if King Charles wants to go swimming, it's time to get out of the bathing area. Further: "If the servant shows up and a royal is already splashing in the pool, he has to leave again. This also applies to high-ranking members such as the private secretary or senior administrative officials." Princess Kate circumvented another rule so as not to have to curtsy in front of Camilla. Sources used: townandcountrymag.com, independent.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk