Buckingham Palace is to sustain a 10-year refurbishment costing the taxpayer £369 million, however, the Queen will continue to live in residence throughout the work, to start next April. Failing cables, lead pipes, wiring and boilers will be renewed, many for the first time in 60 years, which is also surrounded by concerns regarding possible fire and water deprivation.
Phase operations have offered the best value for money whilst keeping the palace operating. The Royal Trustees, who comprise the prime minister and chancellor, suggested that the operations be financed by a transient rise in the Sovereign Grant.
The grant, which this year totalled almost £43m, is 15% of the proceeds from the independent property business Crown Estates, which go to the Treasury. The trustees maintain the grant should increase to 25% of the proceeds for the improvements. This would need MPs’ permission.
Away from the splendour of the state rooms, Buckingham Palace reveals its age. It is striking whilst wandering through the back passages that the all-inclusive look is a tiny bit worn. The refurbishment is definitely long overdue and it seems the building is presently at risk from electrics, plumbing, and heating scarcely renewed following the 1950s.
Questions will be asked over why the palace has been allowed to get into such a position and if the largely predicted expenses could have been lessened if services had been constantly renewed. Palace administrators were apparently informed that in times of austerity such expense requires being justified, and they were suffering to do so.
When questioned how they believed the people would respond, one said they did not know but hoped it would appeal to their sense of nationhood and dodge disaster. Mr. Johnstone-Burt stated that by making the investment now, they can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come.
An instant repair of the palace is required to stop the danger of fire, flood, and disaster to both the structure and the inestimable Royal Collection of art belonging to the country. Looking at the damage Windsor Castle had sustained from a fire in 1992, the renovation took more than five years, and it is expected that comparable damage to Buckingham Palace could cost up to £250 million for a single wing.
According to the Royal Household, the palace’s boilers are more than 33 years old and spare parts for them are hard to reference. Much of the wiring is thought to have a pretty substantial chance of fire and failure, whilst the bulk of the mechanical and electrical systems are at least 40 years old with failure an ever increasing risk.
Campaign group Republic, which wants the destruction of the monarchy, announced the refurbishment was an indictment on the Queen’s scandalous mismanagement of royal finances over six decades. MPs have frequently called on the palace to finance renovations by opening up to sightseers all year round and they’ve declined.
When in town, the Queen holds weekly audiences with the prime minister, and every year greets more than 50,000 people as patrons to state banquets, dinners, receptions and garden parties. The palace has 775 rooms, comprising 19 state-rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
It has assisted as the official London residence of Britain’s monarchs since 1837, acting as host to a stream of historical personages, comprising author Charles Dickens, the US Presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, who donned a loincloth and sandals to tea with King George V, as well as, Neil Armstrong and Nelson Mandela.
The occupied royal palaces are owned in guardian for the country by the Queen, however, the price of sustaining them falls on the government. The works will be carried out on a phased footing, developing one wing at a time, giving contracts individually for each stage, striving to minimise the economic and practical dangers.
The Royal Household was not looking after nationally relevant heritage homes sufficiently, and in March 2012, 39% of the royal estate was beneath what the household considered to be an adequate condition, and hopefully they will guarantee every penny used delivers the highest value for money.
It’s only appropriate to guarantee Buckingham Palace is made fit for purpose for the tomorrow. Sightseers are attracted to this country because of our history, culture and royal inheritance, and when they visit they contribute billions of pounds and support thousands of jobs.
It is a self-governing commercial property business and one of the biggest property holdings in the United Kingdom. The bulk of its assets are in London, however, the property also owns assets in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Holdings comprise Windsor Great Park and Ascot racecourse, however, most of the holdings are made up of domestic property, commercial facilities, shops, businesses, and retail parks. The legacy began in 1760 when it was accepted that excess income from the crown’s domain would go to the Treasury and, in return, the monarch would get a yearly salary.
The heritage belongs to the sovereign for the continuation of their rule, but cannot be sold by them and proceeds go to the Treasury. The sovereign is then given 15% of the yearly excess of the estate, known as the Sovereign Grant, to maintain approved duties.
However, myriads of people have signed an online appeal calling for Queen Elizabeth II to spend almost 370 million pounds for improvements to Buckingham Palace from her personal pocket rather of relieving from taxpayer funds.
The Make Royals Pay for Palace Renovation was generated on 38 Degrees campaign site and has accumulated 88,389 names inside days after the UK government declared on Friday that the British monarch’s London residence would undergo a 369 million-pound necessary refurbishment.
The 90-year-old sovereign will reside in the residence throughout the work, which is estimated to commence in April next year. The Queen’s household funds were granted a 66 percent pay rise to compensate for the 10-year refit of the palace in central London, intended to future-proof the deteriorating building.
There is a nationwide housing disaster, the NHS is in crisis, austerity is driving cuts in various front line services. Now the Majestic demand us to delve deeper to repair Buckingham Palace. The Crown’s assets are priceless. This is, in a word, shocking.
The Monarch’s individual wealth is valued at 340 million pounds and she personally owns Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle in the United Kingdom. The petition wants the repair funds to go out from there rather than the Crown Estate taxes, which go to the UK Treasury and a portion of which is then transferred onto the Queen as a Royal Grant.
Therefore, a donation from the Monarch would be welcome. It’s a government home, it’s a government building, it’s a heritage home, and it’s the Monarch’s home whilst she is there in residency, therefore, she should invest in it to preserve it.
It does confirm though that when we require the money for structures such as this and preservation, the government state that we can afford it, but we should be constructing homes, we should be tackling the maintenance problems that ordinary people have got as well, but it seems that the common people are not as consequential as the sovereignty, we are just a nanny state.
The Queen consumes about a third of the year entertaining with garden parties, receptions, investitures and other functions at her official home in London. The work required shows the antiquity of the building, which was first used as a royal palace by Queen Victoria and has not been renovated following 1952, the year the current Monarch mounted the throne.
Buckingham Palace was acquired by King George III in 1761 and transferred to his son, George IV. However, it has been said that the wills of George III and George IV have never been resolved. Under the Land Registration Act 1988, anyone is allowed to find out the ownership of registered land in England and Wales.
Of some 22 million properties and divisions of land in England and Wales, more than 13 million are recorded, though the outstanding nine million are not. Assuming that Buckingham Palace is listed, then you can find out the identity of the freeholder for a charge of £12.
A leaflet on the procedure is accessible from HM Land Registry, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH. However, I question very much that the Land Register will solve the mystery. Whilst land in Central London has been subjected to certification following the end of the 19th century, certification is only valid if there is a dealing with the land inside the meaning of the variable Land Registration Acts.
By and large, this implies that there has to have been a sale of the land, for a transmission on death effective by an agreement which does not need to be recorded. I assume that the title to Buckingham Palace is not recorded, for it has seemingly been in the possession of the same family for approximately 23O years.
This is always considering that the family has not sold the palace, say, to the Property Services Agency or one of its forerunners in recent years. For this reason, the register is unlikely to expose the ownership of property pertaining to old landed families generally.
There is a big difference separating property which relates to the Royal Family and property which belongs to the State and is made obtainable to Head of State in the way that 10 Downing Street is accessible to the Head of Government.
The difference is not clear since both the personal property of the sovereign and the job of Head of State go through the equivalent line. Yet the difference was made in 1936. Utilized Royal Palaces, such as Buckingham Palace, are not the personal possession of The Queen.
They are occupied by the Monarch and kept in trust by Crown Estates for forthcoming generations. The Monarch personally owns two assets, Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House, which are not publicly financed.
The Crown Estate is a combination of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British sovereign as a partnership sole, making it the Sovereign’s public estate, which is not government property neither part of the sovereign’s private property.
However, the Crown Estate is no ordinary business. It was conceived by an Act of Parliament and all of its yearly gains are passed to the Treasury for the interest of the state investments. The Treasury then provides 15 percent of the proceeds to the Monarch.
Therefore those proceeds over the years of 15 percent should then go towards payment for the palace. As a consequence of this arrangement by the Crown Estate, the monarch is not connected with the administration or management of the estate, applying only very restricted control of its affairs.
The architectural archives of the location can be tracked back to the reign of James I who established a plantation of mulberries for the rearing of silkworms. By 1628 a substantial house by this time existed on the locality and in 1698 it was least to John Sheffield, who later became the Duke of Buckingham, who demolished the property and restored it, and it then became known as Buckingham House.
The house then stood precisely on the location conquered by Buckingham Palace today. It is clear that when Charles I (1625-49) gave the garden to Lord Aston in 1628, a great house already endured on the vicinity.
The house had a succession of owners and occupants until, in 1698, it was leased to the man who was to give the house its name, John Sheffield, later the Duke of Buckingham. Finding the house remarkably old-fashioned in style, the Duke demolished the edifice to build the new Buckingham House.
It was planned and built with the aid of William Talman, Comptroller of the Works to William III, and Captain William Winde, a retired soldier. John Fitch created the centre building by arrangement for £7,000. At one phase Buckingham House was considered as a potential site for the British Museum but was eventually turned down on account of the extent of the sum of money that it demanded, 30,000, and the nuisance of the situation.
Documents describe the purchase by King George III of Buckingham House from Sir Charles Sheffield. The sum of £28,000 changed hands, which is around £2 million in today’s money, to be rewarded over two years in four parts.
One of the most famous landmarks in the country, Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London. The former home of The Duke of Buckingham, it was bought by the Hanoverian King George III for his wife, Queen Charlotte, in 1762, with deeds being completed in 1763. Though The King did not stay at the Palace, which came to be known as the ‘Queen’s House’, 14 of his 15 children were born there, including the future King William IV. It wasn’t until 1837 that his granddaughter Queen Victoria became the first sovereign to take up residence at Buckingham Palace.
Sir William Chambers was put in charge of renovating and improving the house mid-1762 and 1776, at a cost of £73,000. With ceilings designed by Robert Adam and designed by Giovanni Battista Cipriani, The Queen’s chambers on the main floor were amongst the most advanced of their time.
The title deed, displaying a picture of The King and containing the particulars of his investment, is amongst a quantity of documents from the Royal Archives on show at Windsor Castle.
There was a great debate at the commencement of the 19th century about building a totally different royal palace, but when George III’s offspring, George IV (1820-30), acceded to the throne, the plan was abandoned, as George IV was 60, fat and in poor physical health.
Having felt very much at home at The Queen’s House throughout his childhood, the King wanted the current house to be changed into his palace. The King put John Nash, Official Architect to the Office of Woods and Forests, in command of all the work. Throughout the last five years of George IV’s life, Nash expanded Buckingham House into the impressive U-shaped building which was to become Buckingham Palace.
The Buckingham Palace created by Nash was widely seen as a masterpiece. It came, nevertheless, at a significant cost. By 1828 Nash had used £496,169 on the modifications to the building, and shortly following the passing of George IV, the Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, removed Nash from his post for over-spending.
The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch in right of The Crown, that is, it is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne. But it is not the private property of the monarch, it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.
The Government also does not own The Crown Estate. It is run by an autonomous organisation, founded by law, overseen by a Board (also known as The Crown Estate Commissioners), and the excess income from the property is given each year to the Treasury for the interest of the country’s finances.
Though the ownership of some assets can be tracked back to Edward the Confessor, the property as a mass actually dates from the time of the Norman Conquest, but in 1760, George III entered an understanding with the Government of the property.
The Crown Lands would be maintained on behalf of the Government and the excess proceeds would go to the Treasury. In return, the King would get a fixed yearly salary, what later became recognized as the Civil List.
The Crown Estate belongs to the ruling sovereign in right of The Crown, that is, it is occupied by the Queen for the continuation of her rule, by virtue of her assent to the seat of state. However, it is not the private equity of the sovereign, it cannot be sold by the sovereign, nor do incomes from it go to the Queen.
The Government further does not own The Crown Estate. It is governed by an independent organisation, instituted by law, overseen by a Board (also known as The Crown Estate Commissioners), and the excess income from the property is given each year to the Treasury for the interest of all UK taxpayers.
Nevertheless, they now aspire to spend that money they have put forward in the interest of all UK taxpayers and use it on the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, which appears a little strange, in light of the reality that it was supposed to be presented to the Treasury for the benefit of ALL UK taxpayers – and good grief, presently they want it back!
I determine this all a little unsettling, reflecting that it has been the residence of the British sovereignty for a really long time, and the British sovereignty appears to be a bit of an antiquated establishment considering we are presently in the 21st century.
The environment is continually shifting around us, however, the British sovereignty never changes, in so much as it perpetually seems ancient and obsolete. If the environment is always evolving about us, then maybe the palace should evolve with it?
The issue is, do we still need Buckingham Palace, well I guess we do, but it’s more of a symbol than anything else, and it’s an essential part of our heritage. Do we require a monarchy, now that’s another matter altogether?
Most people appear to be in favour of the United Kingdom remaining as a constitutional monarchy. However, there are difficult issues that persist. Why precisely are the broad majority in favour of the sovereignty in this age of democracy?
Has the Queen indoctrinated the whole country?
Economically, there appears to be no requirement for a monarch. The Sovereign Grant, which has succeeded the Civil List, is anticipated to be in the range of £34 million per year, though the campaign group Republic maintains that the total cost to the taxpayer is closer to £200 million.
Many claim that this is simply an expenditure that receives bonuses for the tourism trade, but according to Visit England, none of the royal residences are in the lineup of England’s top 20 tourist attractions. So, tell me, why do we require a monarchy?
Admittedly, England’s leading visited well-known residence is the Tower of London, which is no longer governed by the Crown, and if the monarchy were eliminated tomorrow, the economy would probably get an increase from having Buckingham Palace and additional residences fully open to fee-paying sightseers.
A more detailed logic for fighting in favour of the status quo is that the option to becoming a republic country has few tangible benefits. We are now in an age of political indifference. It is difficult to envisage that a prospective leader of the United Kingdom would be anybody other than a well-established normal politician representing one of the two principal parties. This is certainly the situation in numerous other western republics.
In the end, politics would obtain little from the introduction of a President other than an additional tier of bumbledom, and major judgments would still be made by today’s political aristocracy. The reality that the Monarch is principally irrelevant to the political process, as Republic shows, really appears to be more of a positive than a negative, our Head of State represents the United Kingdom, not the evanescent, usually offensive politics of the United Kingdom.
The Queen is, quite literally, the face of the country, and nothing more than that.
Nevertheless, the most typical reasons for eliminating the sovereignty are not financial or administrative, they are ideological. With an unelected Head of State, our government is incomplete, a perception that republicans just cannot tolerate, and it is clear to understand why.
It doesn’t seem especially fair that one family has a privilege and millions of taxpayers’ pounds thrust upon them, whilst being completely unaccountable to the outside world. Particularly as the rest of us are fighting through the worst collapse in living memory, it appears wrong that we might be denied the chance to choose which person, above all others, symbolizes the country.
We seemingly don’t need to remove the sovereignty, it wouldn’t actually make much difference. Even if it did save £200 million per year, which appears doubtful, it would be a drop in the ocean opposed to the government’s cuts.
Relinquished royal residences would unquestionably draw in the sightseers, however, many of them would have visited London anyhow just to see the legendary landmarks from the outside. According to Republic, the central difficulty with having a sovereignty is that it allows unchecked power to the central government.
Well, if a central government can’t even put a tax on pasties without risking a significant public reaction, we might not have to worry too much about that.
Maybe the most significant constituent in the dispute is really the easiest one, the public feels good about the sovereignty. It may well be the case that the Queen has brainwashed the whole country, the Royal Family seemingly pays a bunch of money on public relations, but she is unquestionably a more respected leader than any of the contemporary political aristocracy.
Following the lives of the nobles allows an individual kind of fantasy that cannot readily be copied, it is similar to viewing a real-life fairytale, or maybe a really posh account of EastEnders. So do we actually need the monarchy? Not really, but that’s probably the wrong question.
Whatever the motives may be, we do like the sovereignty, and that should be enough for now.
Should we retain Buckingham Palace, of course, it’s our national heritage. Should we save the Queen – Well, that is contingent on how much you like antiquity!
The title deed to Buckingham Palace went on display as part of a new exhibition at Windsor Castle in 2014. Official papers from the Royal Family’s personal records were taken out of storage, some for the first time, to mark the centenary of the documents being homed in the castle’s Round Tower.
A title deed dated April 20, 1763, and carrying King George III’s wax seal documents the acquisition of Buckingham House from Sir Charles Sheffield for the amount of £28,000, £2 million in this days money. The estate was bought by the king for his wife, Queen Charlotte, to home the couple’s growing family, and 14 of their 15 children were born there.
More than 100 official papers from the archives were released in a new book, Treasures From The Royal Archives, and 25 of the articles went on display at Windsor Castle. Amongst the treasure’s are the official papers giving a description to the selling of Buckingham Palace, which has been utilised as the official London home of Britain’s monarchs following 1837.
Utilised Royal Palaces, such as Buckingham Palace, are not the private equity of The Queen. They are held by the sovereign at the time of their rule, and kept in trust by Crown Estates for forthcoming generations of the Royal Family, for the duration of the Royal Family, in other words, it’s a bequeathal to be taken on in name only.
For the purpose of contention with the public, and of course the people’s pocket. When it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, we are to assume that the Palace has been transferred down, in a trust for the Royal family for their continuation. But who actually owns it?
Well, that’s the million dollar mystery!
Visualise that the Royal Family did not own Buckingham palace for the time being, and Joe Bloggs came forward and purchased a homestead, did work to it, and then marketed it onto a king or Queen for the costly sum of £28,000.
The titles would then go to that King or Queen who was ruling at the period and later any King or Queen that governed thereafter.
Nevertheless, anytime following that, if that ruler did not want to take accountability for the related home and wanted it to be in a trust to do all the investments for them and be managed by a committee, that committee would not own the property, they would simply be the guardian of the related property, however, the deeds would still stay in the title of whoever the property was in.
Which suggests they would still own the related property, they would simply not be administering with any of its monetary investments, the guardian would do all of that in trust. In other words, if I was bequeathed a large sum of cash and property, but it was not up to me to dispense with the assets of that, and it was bequeathed in trust for a committee to supervise, then when I required cash from that related capital, I would have to go to the committee and they would have to determine if I was allowed money from its profits, and how much.
That does not imply I do not own the property or the estate that I was left, it simply suggests I would not dispense with its daily operations, somebody would, the trustee.
So, should we be funding to have Buckingham Palace restored, of course not, that’s down to the Crown Estate – And Robin Hood would be enjoying this one, where is he when you need him…?