Labour MP Emma Dent Coad has stated that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh should find alternative accommodation and hand Buckingham Palace over to the public if taxpayers are having to pay for the palace’s refurbishment.
MP Emma Dent Coad, whose constituency includes Kensington Palace, strongly disagrees with the £369 million 10-year renovation of Buckingham Palace being funded by the public purse.
Speaking to The House, Parliament’s magazine, she said: “If the public purse is to pay a third of a billion to restore this incredible, beautifully endowed palace, we should have access to it. It’s as simple as that.
“The idea that we are going to pay a third of a billion, which will be more than that, to mend Buckingham Palace where three members of the Royal Family live – three – when they’ve got 150,200 bedrooms or something, and then we don’t have access to the whole building.”
Ms Dent Coad also criticised the Royal Family directly, saying: “They’re part of that world of people who have immense privilege. I don’t think we should be paying a third of a billion a year for people who have immense wealth already.”
The Labour MP feels that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh could easily live somewhere else, and so they should move to another royal residence and provide full access of Buckingham Palace to the public.
However, the Queen hosts over 50,000 guests in Buckingham Palace each year and conducts the majority of royal business in the building, including state banquets, receptions and garden parties.
The staterooms are also open to members of the public during the Summer and on specific dates throughout the year, so the public do get to spend time inside the palace and enjoy it.
This is not the first time Ms Dent Coad has criticised the Royal Family. She previously caused controversy when she said that Prince Harry can’t actually fly a helicopter.
She was quoted as saying: “Harry can’t actually fly a helicopter, he tried to pass the helicopter exam about four times and he couldn’t get through it at all so he always goes for the co-pilot. So he just sits there going ‘vroom vroom’.”
The renovation of Buckingham Palace was first announced in 2016, and it will be the biggest undertaken on the building since the Second World War.