Renovations are a pain in the butt. Most people have had to deal with them at one point, your life is in upheaval, maybe you even have to leave your home while it’s all getting done. And the cost, we won’t even go there. All in all, it’s a stressful time.
Now, imagine if you’re the Queen of England and instead of thousands of dollars in repairs, you have to spend millions to fix it all.
According to The Telegraph, Buckingham Palace — and most, if not all, of its 775 rooms — are in desperate need of repair. We’re talking $237 million (!!!) in repairs.
There are many options that are being considered but the first and least expensive involves the Queen and Prince Philip packing their bags. But, please. It’s not like she’ll be living in a fancy cardboard box or bunking with the Cambridges. Queen Mum has several other residences at her disposal, be it Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle or Sandringham House. Really, she only spends about a third of her time at Buckingham Palace so it’s really not a big deal. In fact, the Queen is currently out of the country on a state visit to Germany with Philip. But the Palace would have to put on hold, or redirect, its State visits, banquets, garden parties, investitures and receptions, which are typically held there. Oh, and balcony debuts. Who could forget balcony debuts?
The cost is tremendous. The Queen’s treasurer, Sir Alan Reid, said maintaining the royal estate “and in particular Buckingham Palace will present a significant financial challenge” in the coming years. But surveyors’ initial assessment of the 300-year-old building report it needs a major overhaul, with the least expensive option meaning the joint would have to be vacated.
This would mark the first time a monarch moved out of Buckingham Palace since Queen Victoria designated it as an official residence in 1837. THAT’S how bad the conditions are. The Telegraph reports that over the past year, the Royal Household has already spent £2.1m on repairs including removing asbestos, renewing lead roofing, relaying paths and refurbishing the State Glass Pantry, the area from which food is served during official functions. But that’s just a drop in the rusty bucket.
The Palace hasn’t been refurbished or redecorated since the ’50s and it needs a major update, including complete rewiring, a replacement of the plumbing, modernizing the decor and further asbestos removal.
More than half a million people visit the Palace each summer, which generates more than £6 million in ticket sales. Maybe they can organize some meet-and-greets? They’d make the money that’s needed for renos in no time.