Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Today the treasury has announced that Buckingham palace, the Queen’s main London residence and one of the worlds most visited attractions is inline for a ten year £369m renovation project.
It’s believed that the project will begin in April 2017, and that the queen will remain in residence while the works are in progress. Much of the main infrastructure of the building hasn’t been replaced for many years, and is in dire need of modernisation.
Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Queen’s Household, said phased works offered the “best value for money” while keeping the palace running.
But this large investment of public money to the Royal household will only intensify pressure from republicans that the Queen, who’s personal wealth is estimated at $550m (source: therichest.com) should be funding most if not all of the works from her personal wealth. The palace is also under pressure to change to being open all year round, it’s thought that this shortfall in current takings would go a long way to paying for the renovations. But so far this pressure has had little result. With this new injection, this pressure will only intensify. Especially as government departments have been slashing budgets in order to meet the governments demands for efficiency savings.
The sheer scale of Buckingham palace means that building works aren’t a rare occurrence, here are some of the staggering figures involved;
The vast palace building houses;
& 760 windows
It attracts visitors from around the world, attracting 558,000 visitors in 2012 (it’s best ever year).
The site that the palace stands on was first used for a townhouse known as Buckingham house built in 1703, the building as it currently stands was a result of constant development throughout the 20th century. The architects John Nash & Edward Blore were principally charged with creating much of the building as it is today. As they expanded the building from the original townhouse, by building wings around it.
It is hoped that the much needed work will see the palace run for at least another 50 years before any more major renovations are required. The current infrastructure is seen as potentially unsafe, and is very urgently in need of fixing.
Buckingham palace is seen as vitally important to London’s visitor numbers and is thought to bring in more than £55m worth of investment in to the UK. As well as being a diplomatic base, where the Queen regularly meets foreign dignitaries.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.