A committee of Members of Parliament in the UK has urged the Queen to open Buckingham Palace more often to the public to raise much-needed funds for repairs to Royal palaces.
At the moment, it’s available for fee-paying tours only in August and September when no member of the Royal Family is there – a total of 63 days a year.
Some MPs say it should open on those weekends when the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are elsewhere. The committee chairman, Edward Leigh, commented: “You cannot close the whole palace because the Duke of York is sitting in his flat upstairs.” The White House in the US was held up as an example of a major attraction that is open for much of the year.
The taxpayer-funded grant to maintain the Royal palaces has been frozen at £15 million ($21 million) for 12 years. And the cracks are beginning to show.
The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, near Windsor Castle, which houses the tomb of Queen Victoria, has been designated by English Heritage as ‘at risk’ after part of the ceiling fell in. Some of the grandest state rooms at Buckingham Palace have not been redecorated since the Queen came to the throne in 1952.
Royal officials told the MPs that opening Buckingham Palace more often was not financially viable as the student wardens employed over the summer could not be
be brought in during term time. But the MPs argued that it would be easy to find casual staff in the capital.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers a range of luxury London hotels, including several within a short walk of Buckingham Palace.