Why Queen Elizabeth Is Planning to Move Out of Buckingham Palace
Don’t worry, she has several years to pack up.
Queen Elizabeth better get her boxes and packing tape ready. The 92-year-old monarch is getting ready to move out of her beloved Buckingham Palace as it undergoes some much-needed renovations. But don’t worry royal-watchers, she’s got about seven years to pack up her things.
According to Reuters, the palace is currently undergoing a $481 million reservicing project to replace 3,000 meters of vulcanized rubber cabling first installed sometime during the 1950s. The cabling, the palace explained, could soon become dangerous to both those living in the home and the artifacts that are housed there.
“The palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing, and heating have not been updated since the 1950s and the building’s infrastructure is now in urgent need of an overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure leading to fire or flood, and incalculable damage to the building and priceless works of art in the Royal Collection,” Sir Michael Stevens, Keeper of the Privy Purse, previously told reporters at Reuters.
Currently, electricians and carpenters are making their way through the palace, working in a clockwise pattern, starting in the East Wing. Along the way, they are also storing a few priceless items including hundreds of pieces from the Royal Collection, like paintings and chandeliers.
And, in 2025, the Queen herself, along with her 97-year-old husband, Prince Philip, will have to move out for some time as workers update their private residence. But all that is okay with her.
“The queen is immensely pragmatic and she wants to stay in the palace,” a senior royal official told reporters. “She said ‘let me know where you would like me to go’.”
Beyond the Queen, other members of the royal family will have to find alternate accommodations as well. According to Reuters, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward will all have to move their offices as the East Wing is finished. Only Prince Charles remains unaffected as his home is at the nearby Clarence House.
Though the renovations may be a pain for the family, it could work out in everyone else's favor. According to Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, many of the items moved out of Buckingham for the renovations will now go on rare public display at other palaces around the country. Additionally, Knox explained, 150 objects would return to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, which was once George IV’s seaside home.
Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Queen’s Household, told reporters, “I am absolutely convinced that by making this investment in the palace now we will not only avert much more costly and potentially catastrophic failure of the building in the years to come but in the short term...will provide the opportunity for even more people to see this remarkable collection.” Essentially, the renovations at Buckingham will be a good thing for tourists, as the work means all of the items will remain protected and well-preserved.