As Queen Elizabeth touched down in Germany on Wednesday, it was revealed that she may have to temporarily move out of Buckingham Palace. The historic building is in need of renovation work costing an estimated $236 million, which could lead to the palace needing to be completely vacated.
The Palace has not been redecorated since the 1950s and now needs significant modernization from plumbing replacement to the removal of asbestos. While $3.3 million has been spent on repairs within the palace in the last year, a royal source, quoted by British newspaper The Telegraph, said it still needs "significant refurbishment."
The Queen landed in Germany Wednesday as it was revealed she may have to move Photo: Getty Images
"The initial estimates are that it needs $236 million of work, but that figure depends on how we go about the work, whether it is done in parts or all at the same time," said the source. "That's something we need to look at very seriously because it will affect the cost. One option is for the palace to be vacated. The other option would be to do it in sections and move people from one section to another."
Buckingham Palace has not been decorated since the 1950s Photo: Getty Images
The source added that Windsor Castle would be the most likely alternative home for the Queen while renovations were underway. "The Queen already carries out some investitures and banquets for State visits in Windsor Castle, so that would be the most obvious alternative venue."
If the relocation does happen, it would be the first time a monarch would have vacated Buckingham Palace since Queen Victoria designated it as an official residence in 1837.
This renovation revelation comes just as the British royal family's financial report was released saying they spent $56.2 million in 2014-15, the same amount spent in the previous financial year. After the publication of the Sovereign Grant Annual Report for 2014-15 Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the royal family is "excellent value for money" and has worked hard to bring down costs.
The Prince of Wales' financial report revealed it costs $4.6 million to cover the costs of Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry, which are the responsiblitity of Prince Charles. While it's not broken down to say exactly what the money covered, we do know the budget set aside is to run their Kensington Palace office, including official private secretaries and their press team, but not private staff like their nanny and housekeeper, or renovations at Anmer Hall.