Buckingham Palace will undergo a ten-year US$ 455 million renovation process set to begin in April and needed to prevent potentially catastrophic building failure. It will replace decades-old wiring, radiators and lead pipes that currently put the 775-room palace at risk for fire, flood and other dangers. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who turned 90 in April, will stay in residence during the makeover.
But not everyone in England is pleased about the costly project — or, more specifically, about who’s footing the bill. An online petition that calls for the royals — not English taxpayers — to pay for the refurbishment launched three days ago, and now has more than 134,000 signatures
“The Crown and its estates should be made to fund its own renovations,” the appeal notes. “The Crown's wealth is inestimable. This is, in a word, outrageous.
The Palace defended the renovations as money wisely spent because of the tourists it attracts, including more than half a million people who tour the mansion each summer.
Buckingham Palace is about to be given a £369m ($457.5m) refurbishment. Tax payers are paying for it. The Crown and its estates should be made to fund its own renovations, reads a description on the petition started by a person named Mark Johnson.
There is a national housing crisis, the NHS is in crisis, austerity is forcing cuts in many front line services. Now the Royals expect us to dig deeper to refurbish Buckingham Palace. The Crown's wealth is inestimable.
This is, in a word, outrageous,” the petition continued.
The Royal Trustees, including the prime minister and chancellor, said that the works would be funded by a temporary increase in the Sovereign Grant, a publicly funded grant which pays for the expenses of running the Queen's household.