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Earl and Countess of Wessex to move out of Buckingham Palace

The Duke of York, Princess Anne and the Earl and Countess of Wessex will be moving out of Buckingham Palace shortly.

The East Wing, which houses the apartments of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and his wife, will be undergoing renovations under the Buckingham Place repairs.

The three, as well as Princess Anne, also have private offices in the wing that is most visible to the public when watching the Changing of the Guard.

While Buckingham Palace undergoes repairs, they will all be staying in St James’ Palace. Princess Anne already has accommodation there.

The East Wing also hosts the iconic balcony in which The Queen and members of her family make public appearances. While essential maintenance will be carried out in 2019, officials have promised that it will be “business and usual” and the royal balcony will still be used.

It’s not just the royals that will be moving offices. Around 120 staff members will be moving into newly renovated offices in the West Attic. The Attic is known as the Footman’s Floor as it has been used to accommodate servants in years past.

10,000 works of art will also be moving house when they are loaned to galleries or stored at other royal residences in order for the renovation to take place.

The Palace requires urgent repairs to outdated plumbing, electrics, and heating. All of these essential services have not been updated since the early 1950s. There is a fear that the obsolete equipment will suffer some form of catastrophic failure and cause severe damage to the palace.

The outdated equipment poses a real threat to the priceless building and the assorted works that are in the Royal Collection.

The repairs are calculated to take a decade and will cost an estimated £369 million. The renovations will be paid from the Sovereign Grant. Profits from businesses and property owned by the Crown Estate is paid to the Treasury, which then gives to the Royal Family in the form of the Grant.

The repairs have come under heavy criticism at a time of austerity. However, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who describes himself as being a Republican said that the palace was a “national monument” that needs to be preserved.

Even if The Queen weren’t staying in Buckingham Palace, undoubtedly the repairs would still need to go ahead to preserve the historic building.

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