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Art Design Buckingham Palace Will Be Undergoing A 10-Year Renovation

Buckingham Palace Will Be Undergoing A 10-Year Renovation

Buckingham Palace Will Be Undergoing A 10-Year Renovation
By AFP
October 15, 2018
Thousands of works of art, clocks, chandeliers and furniture have begun being removed from Queen Elizabeth II's London residence as part of a major refit
Officials say it will be "business as usual".
Officials say it will be "business as usual".

Major investment

The refurbishment programme began in April 2017, after parliament agreed the funding, and officials have spent much of the time since in detailed planning.

After the fire at Windsor, the queen's weekend residence, there was a public outcry when it intially seemed the state would fund the repairs.

In the event, the queen agreed to pay the bulk of the cost, opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors in the summer to help raise funds.

Around the same time, she also agreed to pay a voluntary tax on her private income for the first time.

Funds for the current project will from increasing the share the royals receive from the Crown Estate, which manages royal properties, from 15 percent to 25 percent over the period.

The master of the queen's household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, said that making this investment now would "avert much more costly and potentially catastrophic failure of the building in the years to come".

Officials say it will also reap benefits by improving access to the palace, including adding new lifts, and installing a more energy efficient heating system in the basement.

(Related: This Is The Romantic Place Where Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Fell In Love)

The cabling work so far has unearthed some asbestos, as expected, but also a few surprises.

Several old cigarette packets and an 1888 cutting from London's Evening Standard newspaper were found beneath the floorboards, and mysteriously, a boat paddle was found behind a wall.

The "decant" of the east wing has already begun with the smallest items, and works on new boilers and generators will begin after the Dutch king and queen visit later this month.

Some of the 3,000 items being removed will be put elsewhere in the palace, or transferred other royal residences, with officials aiming to keep as much as possible on public display.

Around 150 items will be returned on loan to the Royal Pavilion in the seaside town of Brighton, where they were originally held before Queen Victoria sold the building in 1850.

Around 120 staff and around 40 people living in the upper floors will be relocated within the palace, but officials say it will otherwise be "business as usual".

There will be little sign of the works from outside, although a base for contractors will be set up in the palace forecourt.

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Art & Design queen elizabeth ii the queen prince philip royal family royalty buckingham palace london the uk britain renovation

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