Eco-conscious King turns down Buckingham Palace pool leaving Royal household shivering

Charles, an ardent environmentalist, paddling in the sea at Bondi Beach during his visit to Australia in 1981 - Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Charles, an ardent environmentalist, paddling in the sea at Bondi Beach during his visit to Australia in 1981 - Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Eco-conscious King Charles III has begun turning down the heating in the Buckingham Palace pool, which has left staff shivering in their trunks, according to reports.

Staff at Buckingham Palace, who are allowed to use its pool, have noticed it getting cooler recently due to the King turning down its thermostat in a bid to save energy.

A report in the Times suggested that the King, and lifelong environmentalist, had taken the decision as part of a wider drive to bring down energy use across the Royal estate.

One source told the Times: “A few people using the pool have noticed that the temperature of the water has dropped, and it is quite a bit cooler than it used to be. They have been told the King has had the heating turned down.”

Senior members of the Royal household are allowed to access the pool but must check if royal family members plan to use it, to avoid a clash.

A swimming pool was first put in at Buckingham Palace in the 1930s when it was installed as part of a renovation of the palace’s north-west pavilion.

It was commissioned by King George VI, so daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret could learn to swim in privacy.

It has been reported that many members of the Royal family have learnt to swim in the pool, including Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

War-like footing

The King has been an ardent environmentalist for decades and has co-authored several books on nature and climate change.

In 2021, he famously gave an address at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in which he said that the world needed to be on a “war-like footing” to tackle the climate crisis.

However, last year he announced that he would step back from campaigning on environmental issues, and instead look to “highlight” the problems that the environment faces while he is King.

In addition to turning down the heat in the Buckingham Palace pool, the King has started questioning staff over fires being lit within the estate.

A royal source told the Times: “He would want to have a very good reason for why a fire was being lit, and would want to know why you wanted to heat a room beyond room temperature, whatever the weather outside. He would see it as wasteful.”

This comes as the King has taken an interest in the cost-of-living and energy crisis facing staff members and the public in recent months.

Last year, financial journalist Martin Lewis revealed King Charles had personally asked for a briefing note on the consumer energy crisis, so he could better understand what people were going through.

In November it was revealed that he would be giving his household staff a one-off ‘cost of living bonuses’, which would see the lowest paid staff receive £600 on top of their monthly wage.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.