A spokesperson for the Queen's household has revealed that Buckingham Palace is set to undergo major renovations next year. The Queen's London residence will receive a $615 million (£369 million) face lift, much of it consisting of esential building work that hasn't been done in 60 years.
While the critical work will kick off in April next year, Her Majesty will continue to reside in the iconic palace and host state visits as well as her annual garden parties. Popular events including Trooping the Colour and the Changing of the Guard will also be unaffected by the work.
Buckingham Palace is one of Britain's most recognized attractions, with over half a million people paying to visit the landmark every year. It also houses the iconic balcony where the royal family annually gather for Trooping the Colour, and where Prince William and Kate shared a kiss on their wedding day as crowds of royal well-wishers cheered from below.
"They will have to move rooms and they are totally behind it," a senior royal official told Hello!. "The Queen knows the palace better than anybody, having lived here all her life. She's completely willing and content to move around."
He added: "The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and other members of the family are all fully aware of what is going on. They're completely supportive, 100 per cent behind it. The Prince of Wales is taking a particular interest in the environmental side of it."
"Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and this programme is designed to extend its working life by a further fifty years," the Master of The Queen's Household Tony Johnstone-Burt explained in a statement regarding the renovations.
"On completion of the work, we'll have a palace fit for purpose until 2067. The programme addresses parts of the structure you can't see from the outside: the plumbing, electrics and other essential building services which have gone six decades without a comprehensive upgrade.
The 10 Year Phase Refit will see ageing cables, lead pipes, electrical wiring and boilers replaced, after a specialist report concluded that without urgent work the palace risked serious damage. Once essential projects are completed, there will also be a wing-by-wing renovation, including the East Wing which faces the Mall.
The works programme is also expected to help increase public access and improve visitor facilities, as well as creating a more energy-efficient working environment for the 300 people who work there, including members of the royal family, reducing the palace's carbon footprint by 40 per cent over time.