Queen 'may have to move out of Buckingham Palace' amid £150m revamp

Around £150 million needs to be spent on a major revamp of Buckingham Palace, according to royal sources - and the Queen may need to move out while the work is done.

The full scale of the refurbishment project was outlined as the annual royal financial statement was released, revealing the official figure for royal expenditure was £35.7 million - the equivalent of 56p per person.

The sum, known as the Sovereign Grant, will help pay for some of the works, though additional funding may be needed.

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Royal train costs £114 per mile, figures reveal

The royal train costs around £114 a mile to use, according to the annual financial statement from the monarchy.

The royal train costs around £114 per mile Credit: PA

The most expensive journey taken on the train cost more than £30,000, taking the Queen and Prince Philip from Windsor to Haverfordwest, and on to Ystrad Mynach, in April 2014.

The price of a standard rail ticket for the journey is £109.50.

The shortest distance travelled in one journey by the train was the 140 miles between London Euston and Wolverhampton, costing £15,956 - compared to the £88.50 pricetag on a standard ticket.


Royal workers take fewer sick days than UK average

Royal household staff take fewer sick days than the UK average, clocking up 5.8 each compared to the typical worker's 6.6, the monarchy's annual financial statement reveals.

Inside the correspondence room at Buckingham Palace, where staff take fewer sick days than the UK average Credit: PA

A Buckingham Palace aide said the healthier record of royal workers was down to "almost no internal politics", as staff were simply happy to serve the Queen - as well as a comprehensive benefits package including in-house medics, access to leisure facilities and a colleagues' football team.

We're not a money-orientated organisation. There is almost no internal politics in the place - you can't have the top job because you're not born the right way. It's gone and we know who the successor is.

At the end of the day, you just do your very best to serve the Queen and that seems to make for a very healthy organisation.

– Buckingham Palace aide

Maintaining Crown Estate is 'significant financial challenge'

The maintenance of the Crown Estate and Buckingham Palace presents a "significant financial challenge", the keeper of the Privy Purse has said.

Sir Alan Reid - the official treasurer to the Queen - said financial officers had managed to keep down expenditure.

We have contained expenditure, and that is down to strong financial planning and discipline.

We've worked hard this year to bear down on costs.

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 trustees to ensure that the funding for the royal household reflects that challenge.

– Sir Alan Reid, Privy Purse

In brief: How much does the royal family cost you?

The official figure for royal expenditure over the past year was £35.7 million - the equivalent of 56p per person.

The figure has remained the same for two years running.

Here are some of the things it was spent on:

  • £18.7m - staff
  • £11.7m - property maintenance
  • £5.1m - travel costs
  • £3.8m - general maintenance of the royal estate
  • £2.2m - reserved for future works to Buckingham Palace
  • £1.2m - building a new aircraft hangar for the Queen's Helicopter Flight at RAF Odiham
  • £800,000 - renewing slate and lead roof coverings at Buckingham Palace
  • £700,000 - renewing lead roofing at Windsor Castle
  • £300,000 - refurbishing the state glass pantry at Buckingham Palace
  • £300,000 - removing asbestos from the basement of Buckingham Palace

Scotland 'could cut royal funding by £1.5m under devolution plans'

Scotland could slash its contribution to the British royal family by up to £1.5 million under plans for further devolution, it has been claimed.

A royal source has reportedly said the changes could mean that any profits from the Crown Estate in Scotland are kept by the Scottish Parliament, rather than the UK Parliament, meaning a cut of between £1m and £1.5m to the Sovereign Grant.

Both the UK and Scottish governments have denied that devolution would have any negative impact on the Sovereign Grant Credit: PA

Speaking to the Press Association, he claimed it meant there would a drop "in real terms" in assets from April 1, 2016.

Both the UK and Scottish governments have denied that devolution would have any negative impact on the funding of the monarchy.

A spokesman for the UK Treasury said under the Sovereign Grant Act, the grant could not be reduced, meaning Scottish taxpayers would continue to fund their "full and fair share".

A Scottish government spokesman added: "There would be no change in Scotland's contribution to the Sovereign Grant through general taxation."

It comes as the annual royal statement of finances revealed the monarchy cost the taxpayer £35.7m in 2014/15 - the same as the year before, and the equivalent of 56p per person in the UK.


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