The Royal Family has shared an update on Buckingham Palace’s £369 million refurbishment on their Instagram account.
A series of videos were posted to the Royal Family’s Instagram account, showing the renovation work being carried out in the Palace’s East Wing, which aims to make its plumbing, heating and electricity cabling more cost-efficient.
The clip reveals that such work has not been carried out at Buckingham Palace since the 1950s, as snaps show old newspapers dating back to 1954 and old packs of cigarettes found in the wing.
The Wing has been stripped of its flooring, furniture and 3000 pieces of artwork and artefacts, and its floorboards will all be lifted ahead of the reservicing of the old pipes and wires in the palace’s biggest refurbishment since before the Second World War.
The bill for the refurbishment will be met by taxpayers via the Sovereign Grant – the annual fee paid by the Government to the monarch – which this year came to £42million – with a third of the cash set aside for maintaining Royal palaces.
The Royal Family has shared an update on Buckingham Palace’s £369million refurbishment on their Instagram account today (pictured)
A series of clip shared on the account’s story showed the painstaking work carried in the Wing in order to replace its outdated pipes and cables
The Wing, which homes 200, including the Royal Collection, is unrecognisable, stripped of its artwork, flooring and wallpapers
In the short clips, the East Wing, which faces The Mall, is unrecognisable, stripped of its wallpapers and flooring.
Old pipes and cables will be replaced by more modern contraptions in order to make the Palace more energy efficient.
Just last week, the Royal Family shared a look at the painstaking work being carried out as part of the palace’s refurbishment.
A two-minute video shared on the Royal Family Instagram account shows how 19th century wallpaper is being carefully removed ‘piece by piece’ from the Yellow Drawing Room as part of work in the East Wing.
The works will cost the taxpayer millions as the total total bill is expected to reach £369million. The Sovereign Grant, which comes from general taxation, will be hiked up during renovation period to cover the costs (pictured: the front of Buckingham Palace in London, stock picture)
The refurbishment aims to update the Palace and make it more energy efficient and cost effective
The Royal Family’s Instagram story explained that the plumbing, heating and electricity cabling of the Palace had not been updated in more than 70 years
Items dating back from the 1950s (including the newspaper from 1954 pictured above) were found during the current renovation works
The wallpaper will be ‘conserved and preserved’ by experts before being rehung in the stunning reception room at the front of the palace.
The East Wing counts 200 rooms, including the Chinese Dining Room, the Yellow Drawing Room and the Centre Room.
It also homes the Royal Collection, and all artefacts and artworks had to be moved to other sides of the Palace for the refurbishment to be carried.
The East Wing was built for Queen Victoria in thew 1840s in order to give her more room to entertain her growing family. It has not been refurbished since before World World II, and its electricity, heating and plumbing has not been updated since the 1950s.
The project involves ten miles of water pipes, 6,500 plug sockets, 500 pieces of sanitary ware (toilet, basins and the like) and 20 miles of skirting board being replaced after experts warned there was ‘serious risk’ of fire and water damage to the palace and the priceless works of art it contains due to palace’s perilous state of repair.
They shared a picture of the old cigarette packs found which date back to the fifties
The wallpaper being carefully removed piece by piece, as seen in a video shared on the Royal Family Instagram account. The wallpaper will then be taken and conserved in a studio
The video shared by the Royal Family Instagram account last week showed how the wallpaper is being slowly removed by experts. Pictured, part of the wall with the wallpaper
The Queen has not had to move out while the work is completed, but she has had to change bedrooms and is said to be ‘fully supportive’ of the changes.
It is estimated that the benefits of the upgrade, including longer summer opening hours, more private tours and savings due to the improvements, could be around £3.4 million each year.
It is also forecast that the work, taken wing by wing, beginning with the front of the London landmark after essential works are completed in the first two years, will reduce the palace’s carbon footprint by 40 per cent in the future.
The Queen spends around a third of the year hosting garden parties, receptions, investitures and other events at her official home.
The work needed reflects the age of the building, which was first used as a royal palace by Queen Victoria and has not been decorated since 1952, the year the Queen ascended the throne.
The East Wing was completely stripped of its furniture and artworks for the refurbishment to be carried
Buckingham Palace restoration: Who’s footing the £369million bill?
The works will cost the taxpayer millions as the total bill is expected to reach £369million.
The Sovereign Grant, which comes from general taxation, will be hiked up during renovation period to cover the costs.
And while there has been complaint about the taxpayers footing the bill, the palace will continue to operate as usual, generating millions for the economy through tourism and events.
The Queen currently gets an amount which is equivalent to 15 per cent of the profits from the Crown Estate, but this will increase to 25 per cent.
Buckingham Palace, originally Buckingham House, was built in 1703 and has been extended out ever since.
But many of the wires and inner workings which keep it functioning are becoming old and in need of replacement – hence the huge project.
The master of the Queen’s household overseeing the £369 million refurbishment of Buckingham Palace has vowed to stay within budget and time on the gigantic project.