Her Majesty the Queen could soon be forced to vacate Buckingham Palace, as sources say there are “significant amounts of asbestos” that need to be removed.
Maintenance costs are expected to climb as high as £150 million, as the central London palace also requires new plumbing and wiring. Some of the rooms haven’t even been decorated since 1952, bbc.co.uk reports.
It is still to be determined whether the refurbishment will be undertaken in one go or if work will be staggered over a longer period.
Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse, said: “Over the coming years, the maintenance of the estate and in particular Buckingham Palace will present a significant financial challenge. We will continue to work closely with the Royal Trustees to ensure that the funding for the Royal Household reflects that challenge.”
The need for asbestos removal has highlighted the latest figures from royal accounts, which show that the Queen and her household cost the taxpayer £35.7 million – or 56p per person every year, cityam.com notes.
Reid added: “The Queen, the royal family and the household continue to provide excellent value for money: at 56p per person annually. We’ve worked hard this year to bear down on costs, to maintain revenue and to ensure that the additional funding in the 2014/15 Sovereign Grant has been placed into the reserve.”