Peek inside Buckingham Palace’s $659 million makeover
The Queen’s London pad, Buckingham Palace has undergone a £369 million (AUD $676 million) face lift.
Her Majesty’s royal accounts have been published, revealing £31.6 million (AUD $57.8 million) had been spent on the renovation in the past 12 months, which is up from £16.4 million (AUD $30 million) the year before.
However, some believe the hefty spend is justified, as Buckingham Palace is seen as more than a home; it’s considered the British monarchy’s HQ.
The palace has housed UK sovereigns since 1837, and has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
While the palace is used mainly as the monarch's main office and function space, it is primarily used as one of the biggest tourist attractions in London.
Typically, the royal residence sees more than 50,000 visitors a year as invited guests for various state banquets, lunches, receptions and garden parties.
Visitors haven't been able to visit any royal residences for more than a year, leaving a £9.4 million (AUD $17 million) hole in the palace finances.
A major change coming to the place is the Grand Entrance where visitors are usually greeted when they drive in through the front gates. From there, guests are guided up the Grand Staircase to the State Apartments. This is a 10-year program of major works for the aging historic home.
While it is not known all the changes that have come for the palace, the Queen's treasurer, Sir Michael Stevens, has justified the increased spending, saying: "Obviously as we look ahead to 2022 we have the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to look forward to and all our works plans for Buckingham Palace are designed to ensure the Palace can play a significant part in those celebrations, such as garden parties and of course the balcony appearance at Trooping the Colour."