Ask anyone to name the most famous royal residence, and they’ll almost certainly say Buckingham Palace. The grand building has been the official London home and working headquarters for Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip for decades, as well as the focal point for formal events such as Trooping the Colour.
Now, however, that’s all set to change, as plans for renovations of the historic site mean that the family will have to pack up and move out, albeit temporarily, while the works are completed.
According to The Mirror, The Queen, 92, and Prince Phillip, 97, will have to leave their respective private apartments in 2025 for two years as Buckingham Palace undergoes extensive improvements.
Speaking to the paper, an insider revealed: ‘The Queen is immensely pragmatic and she wants to stay in the palace. She said, “Let me know where you would like me to go.”‘
‘The Duke of Edinburgh was very involved in the 1992 restoration of Windsor Castle. He is keen for us to follow a phased approach in the re-servicing project [at Buckingham Palace], and said, ‘You will learn from your mistakes.”‘
It has not yet been confirmed whether the couple will move out of the palace completely, or whether they will simply relocate whilst their living quarters are being serviced (well, they do have 52 bedrooms to choose from…)
The first stages of the works began in spring of last year, and include updates to wiring and pipes to reduce fire hazards, and the addition of two lifts to improve access for visitors with mobility problems. The palace will remain open to visitors throughout the overhaul, and no scaffolding will affect its outward appearance.
Tony Johnstone-Burt, the master of the Queen’s household, is overseeing the project with public funds and says that it will remain both on budget and on time.
‘We all take the responsibility that comes with using public funds to do all this work on such a national icon like Buckingham Palace extremely seriously indeed, on time, within budget and to the required specification,’ he commented.