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originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
Whether it is worth it or not, I believe the Royal family brings more revenue to the UK in the form or tourism etc than if they weren't there so financially, it appears yes the Royal family is a viable attribute to the UK, as well as culturally.
Specifically regarding the refurbishment the actual total cost was £4.5 million, the £37.5 million is the total official expenditure of the Queen for the last year, which includes spending on many things, including repairs and maintenance to Royal property. Perhaps you should correct your thread title to £4.5 million as this is accurate, whereas £37.5 million isn't.
As for the repairs required for the refurbishment, it appears asbestos needed removing and the wiring /plumbing etc were from 1949 so needed updating to make it habitable. Prince William purchased the curtains, carpets, soft furnishings, kitchen and some of the fittings himself.
I guess as a plus for spending public resources allocated to the Royal family, given to the Queen, she prioritised it over repairs to Buckingham Palace and is 'making do' with renovating buildings already in use rather than using or purchasing further grand estates for the 'Cambridges'. They are being given to reside in, an apartment at Kensington Palace, it isn't huge and the building is already used so keeping the cost of security and maintenance costs to a minimum unlike a vast estate which would cost many more millions of taxpayer's money in upkeep, security and running costs yearly.
So whether people agree to having a Royal family or not (and I choose not to opine or argue that here), it appears that it was actually a more frugal use of the funds already allocated than otherwise could have been.
The Civil List was established in 1760, when George III surrendered the income from the Crown Estate to the government in exchange for a fixed annual payment from the Treasury. The taxpayer gained an exceptional bargain from that arrangement: last year, total government spending on all functions of the monarchy amounted to £7.9 million from the Civil List, £22.6 million in grants-in-aid for communications, travel and property from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and £4.6 million from other departments. That total of £35.1 million is dwarfed by the £226.5 million profit passed to the Treasury by the Crown Estate.
The Queen deferred repairs at Buckingham Palace to allow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to refurbish their home.
Royal aides said renovation work at Kensington Palace was “prioritised” over repairs to the monarch’s home, allowing the couple and their baby son to move into Apartment 1A, the former home of Princess Margaret.
The disclosure comes as newly published accounts for Buckingham Palace show the Queen’s official expenditure over the past financial year rose in actual terms by £2.4 million to £35.7 million — or 56p for each person in the country.
More than a third of the monarch’s spending from the sovereign grant — the system of funding her official duties from the public purse — was to maintain royal buildings, the figures show.
Spending on property maintenance increased by £4.2 million to £13.3 million, a rise in real terms of 45 per cent, amid a “backlog” of restoration work.
A total of 133 projects were carried out across the estate.
However, the biggest single scheme was the refurbishment of Apartment 1A, which had been used for office space since Princess Margaret’s death. A total of £4.5 million has now been spent on the works, including £3.4 million in the last year and the removal of asbestos from the apartment.
“It was a priority,” an aide said. “We have a backlog and we prioritise things in terms of the backlog but we also have to prioritise in terms of occupational activities of the royal household.
“In the case of 1A at Kensington Palace we needed to use it.”
Work at the apartment also included installing new plumbing and electrical systems, as well as “simple decoration”.
The Duke and Duchess paid “privately” for carpets, curtains and furnishings as well as a family kitchen to supplement the larger “working kitchen” for official events financed by public funds.
The Prince of Wales is believed to have paid for at least part of the bill for the fittings and the family kitchen.
Royal sources said the apartment was refurbished in 1963 and has required “a significant amount of work” to make it habitable again.
“This is the couple’s one and only official residence and it is here they plan to stay for many, many years to come,” an aide added.
Much of the cabling and plumbing at Buckingham Palace dates from 1949.
In 2013-14, £800,000 was spent removing asbestos from the basement to prepare for new electrical cabling and duct covers to be installed.
The sovereign grant, calculated on a formula of 15 per cent of profits from the Royal Estate was set at £36.1 million for 2013-14. The remaining £400,000 of the funding was put into a reserve pot.
Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse, said public funding of the monarchy had fallen by 8 per cent in real terms in the past two years when maintenance costs were removed.