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Buckingham Palace repairs: Complain if you must, but don’t blame The Queen

This is an opinion piece by Royal Central’s Senior Reporter, Kelli Finger

Royal Central reported today that The Queen’s official residence, Buckingham Palace is to undergo a 10-year, £369m renovation. Since this news broke, I’ve heard some grumblings about the greed of the monarchy in daring to tax the British people to undertake the work

Some news sources even go so far as to insult The Queen. One tabloid’s headline reads: “Who pays the bill when one of the world’s richest women needs her house fixing up? You, of course!”

That’s pretty low for a woman who’s selflessly served her country, the Commonwealth and the world for her entire life. And when her official residence needs major repairs, all some people can do is complain. I wish she were my Queen. I’d gladly pay the taxes to help keep her safe and to preserve Buckingham Palace.

I think some have been over-reacting since this announcement. When you’re dealing with ‘public money’ great care is taken to ensure none of it is wasted. Budgets must be balanced and examined. The British Monarchy is very transparent with its finances. It must be. So why are people upset?

The Master of the Queen’s Household, Tony Johnstone-Burt, said that the refurbishment work has taken into account the best value for money.

He said: “We take the responsibility that comes with receiving these public funds extremely seriously indeed; equally, we are convinced that by making this investment in Buckingham Palace now we can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come.”

Isn’t the high cost of this extensive project worth it? There’s so much history involved, so much that needs to be preserved for future generations. And what about the safety of all? Let’s not forget the horrific fire in 1992 which gutted Windsor Castle. It would be such a shame if something like that were to occur at Buckingham Palace; especially if it can be avoided. Why not take adequate steps to prevent an accident waiting to happen.?

Buckingham Palace is the fabric of the British Family, its epicentre where many longstanding, traditional ceremonies are held. What about the state visits of diplomats and world leaders? It’s true that the royal family is to remain neutral, but they do play a major role in securing and helping to grow relationships with other countries. Those visiting dignitaries need to see the full force of the monarchy at work when they visit The Queen; they must see her as the important diplomatic figure she is.

And what about the benefits of making these repairs? Despite the hefty costs, it is thought once the refurbishments are completed, much more money will be generated into the British economy. This would be through longer summer opening hours, more private tours and savings from maintenance work the palace currently has to spend. Those are certainly pros to having this work done.

A statement from the Palace said: “The estimated capital cost of £369m will be funded by a temporary uplift in the Sovereign Grant , from 15% to 25% of Crown Estate net income, as recommended by the Royal Trustees in their Review of the Sovereign Grant, published today.

“This figure will be reduced to £222m once benefits, efficiencies and inflation adjustments are taken into account.”

So for those who are complaining, it’s not going to be as bad as you think. The repairs haven’t even begun. As time passes, money could be saved. What’s calculated is the worst case scenario.

So can we please stop with these silly headlines? These repairs aren’t being done for “her.” They’re being facilitated so the monarchy and those at its helm in the near future can do their jobs in safety.

Do you agree with the author of this post? Are the renovations justified or could the money be better spent elsewhere?

  • Jonathan Jones

    I think that the work should be done on the same bases as the ‘ Big SOS Build’ as it is our Royal Family and we should be proud to do the required repairs?

    • Captain Smurf

      I really do not understand anything you have said here.

      • Jonathan Jones

        There is a programme on the TV called DIY SOS, which is all about assisting someone who requires some kind of building repairs or renovation, with the free help of the public. I.e those in the trade. As this is for our Monarch’s estate and is funded by not only us, but also by the Royal household?

        • Captain Smurf

          Okay. I don’t watch reality tv, so didn’t get the reference. Now I understand it, I have to disagree.

  • Paul

    People can’t really blame the monarchy for it. Even if the monarchy was to be abolished, Buckingham Palace would still be a national property and the government would still have to pay for it

  • Terry

    I have no doubt that this work must be done. Have any of those complaining considered how much money Buckingham Palace helps to bring into this country via tourism and trade?
    Also, I believe that Buckingham Palace is the official residents of the Queen and belongs to the state.

  • Howard T

    It is also an important historical building owned by the state, not the Queen.

  • Christine Gardiner

    I would absolutely love for this money to be spent on Buckingham Palace as it is part of UK history and is part of the reason for lots of tourists coming to visit and spending their money which helps the economy. What I don’t understand is how we found this money to pay for the repairs when we cant afford to house many young families, the elderly and the homeless. I thought we were skint and were cutting back on benefits, closing government run familychildren centres, elderly people homes and mental health facilities etc. Important decisions have to be made for the benefit of the most vulnerable and that is not the repairs on Buckingham Palace

  • Gregor Hardy

    Tell the republicans to get over themselves. The palace belongs to the people(the state) not the queen, if god forbid the Queen was replaced with a President the people(the state) would also pay all costs of their accommodation as well. That aside the day I went to the palace for a tour in 2012 I will remember for the rest of my life. God Save the Queen!!

  • Israel Diaz-Rivera

    You all should be thankful that you have the Queen that you have. It will be a nightmare if by a stupid chance you end up with trump as president, trust me! The money that the Royals bring to your country is much much more then those repairs need it in the palace. That palace belongs to England and as such England should take care of it. The Queen do much more then what the country will pay to fix the palace. You all are been selfish and ungrateful to the Crown. I wish I was from England and had a Queen like the one you have who has selfishly serve your country. God bless the Queen!

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