The U.K. government will give the Queen a $460 million allowance over the next 10 years to pay for repairs to make Buckingham Palace less of a fire and flood hazard.
The 66 percent pay raise — distributed through the Sovereign Grant — will replace the palace’s 33-year-old boilers, 60-year-old electrical wiring and lead and cast iron pipework, the Guardian reported. Officials said that without the repairs, there’s a risk of “catastrophic building failure.”
Queen Elizabeth II will stay at the palace — which serves as her administrative headquarters — while the repairs are done over the next 10 years. Though it doesn’t seem like she’ll be thrilled that she doesn’t have to move out. The palace, according to the Guardian, is her least favorite royal residence.
Some elected officials griped that the investment comes at a time of austerity in the U.K. Alex Cunningham, a member of parliament (MP), noted that the plans show an unfair difference in the distribution of public funding.
“I have always respected the fact that we have a royal family, but I know they also have vast wealth and I don’t know what sort of contributions they will be making towards this project,” he said.
Others noted that the government recently cut six MPs from Scotland to “save money.” [Guardian] — Kathryn Brenzel