With more than a third of the Queen's royal estate being deemed as 'below target condition', it's been revealed that Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are riddled with asbestos and need rewiring
Poor old Queenie – she may be one of the richest women in Britain but it seems that even a stipend of almost £40 million a year isn’t enough to stop her (many!) homes from crumbling around her pampered feet.
Speaking to members of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Senior Royal Treasurer Sir Alan Reid revealed that many rooms at Buckingham Palace haven’t seen a lick of paint for over 60 years.
Sir Alan told the committee that Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle face a repair bill of around £50 million to remove asbestos from walls, attend to urgent rewiring and fix roof leaks as it was revealed that staff are currently forced to catch the rain in
buckets to protect priceless works of art and antiques.
Most of the state rooms used for
entertaining foreign heads of state have not been decorated for decades, while Princess Anne was almost
hit by falling masonry at Buckingham Palace a few years ago.
Palace officials blame the backlog of repairs on a ‘real terms’ squeeze of up to 60% in funding by government over the past 20 years, forcing them to ‘make do and mend’.
Conservative MP Richard
Bacon said he had been told the Buckingham Palace wiring had not been
done since 1949. ‘Everyone knows that the longer you leave something,
the worse it gets and the greater the overall cost of maintenance and
restoration in the longer term,’ he said.
Sir Alan told the committee they were hoping to make ‘major inroads’ over
the next decade as he admitted that some 39% of the
royal estate was below ‘target condition’.
The Queen has repeatedly eaten into her savings over the years and is, apparently, down to her last
£1 million in the bank. So she might be living in crumbling conditions for a little while longer…