Buckingham Palace Might Be Queen-less For a While As It Undergoes Renovations
The last time the Queen of England left her home (i.e., Buckingham Palace) for more than just a vacation, World War II was in full swing and it was a matter of national security that she and her sister, Princess Margaret, be moved to Windsor Castle until the fighting ceased.
Now, more than 50 years later, the Queen finds herself yet again forced to relocate to Windsor — although this time it’s under considerably better terms.
BBC News and Business Insider report that Buckingham Palace is in dire need of maintenance work, and the Queen will have to move yet again to Windsor Castle while the repairs are under way, this time with husband Prince Philip in tow.
Royal sources have stated that the estimate for the upcoming repairs is around £150 million ($236 million USD); the International Business Times reports that the maintenance will include removing asbestos and rewiring electrical circuits, and — just like 78% of all home renovation projects today — the Queen’s bathrooms will have some work done as well, specifically regarding plumbing lines.
Additionally, the Palace will be redecorated, since it hasn’t been redecorated since 1952 and is reportedly looking a bit dated on the inside (which really isn’t surprising, considering it was originally built in the 1700s).
The announcement that the royal family may have to relocate comes right after the Crown Estate, an independent third-party financial company that manages the money of the royal family, published its profit from 2014. Last year, the Crown Estate brought in £285 million ($449 million), and 15% of that profit is typically passed onto the Queen as part of the “Sovereign Grant” agreement — meaning that the Queen will receive £42.8 million ($67.5 million) this year, and probably won’t have much trouble paying for Buckingham’s renovations.
However, Her Royal Highness could run into some road blocks sooner rather than later. Business Insider reports that Scotland is considering to withhold its payment to the Crown Estate, which would be a loss of about £2 million ($3.2 million).
Additionally, economists are already predicting that Britain’s tourism industry will take a hit if the Queen moves over to Windsor, although numerical estimates regarding this loss are not available at this time.