$652m overhaul for Buckingham Palace

The refurbishment planned for Buckingham Palace will be its first major overhaul since the end of World War II. The project, expected to begin next year, will take 10 years to complete. The Queen will remain in residence, but will have to change room
The refurbishment planned for Buckingham Palace will be its first major overhaul since the end of World War II. The project, expected to begin next year, will take 10 years to complete. The Queen will remain in residence, but will have to change rooms.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Buckingham Palace is set to get a £369 million (S$652 million) overhaul to replace leaky pipes and fire-risk cables, under a taxpayer-funded plan unveiled yesterday, that would see Queen Elizabeth II forced to move rooms.

The works, which are to start next year and last until 2027, will see solar panels installed on the roof of the palace as well as more space for public visits in its biggest refurbishment since World War II.

The government is asking Parliament to approve the renovation budget by increasing the share the royals receive from the Crown Estate, which manages royal properties, to 25 per cent from 15 per cent over the period.

The Queen and her husband Prince Philip will remain in residence but will have to temporarily change rooms, while some of the 37 permanent staff who currently live in the palace will have to move out.

The last major overhaul of the palace was carried out shortly after the war to repair damage from German bombing.

The new plan is aimed at extending the life of the building by another 50 years. \

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2016, with the headline '$652m overhaul for Buckingham Palace'. Print Edition | Subscribe