British queen may have to move out of Buckingham Palace
Updated: 2015-06-25 09:05
Britain's Queen Elizabeth makes a speech during a state banquet at Bellevue presidential palace in Berlin, Germany June 24, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - British Queen Elizabeth II may have to temporarily move out of Buckingham Palace to allow repair work to be carried out on her London residence, local media reported Wednesday, quoting royal sources.
In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace, Alan Reid, Keeper of the British monarch's Privy Purse, admitted that refurbishment of the palace will pose a "financial challenge."
"Over the coming years, the maintenance of the Estate and in particular Buckingham Palace will present a significant financial challenge. We will continue to work closely with the Royal Trustees to ensure that the funding for the Royal Household reflects that challenge," Reid said.
It has been estimated that maintenance work of the palace would cost 150 million pounds (about $235.6 million), irritating some anti-monarchy activists who called for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a museum for the public.
Campaign group Republic has called on the queen to permanently vacate the palace, saying that "if the royals can't look after the buildings and raise their own revenue to fund maintenance, it's time to give them up."
"Buckingham Palace is national property treated like a private home occupied by a rogue tenant. Years of failure on the part of the royals have left the buildings in desperate need of repair," Republic's CEO Graham Smith said in a statement.
He added that "if the taxpayer is footing the bill, the taxpayer should reap the reward."
"Buckingham palace already houses one of the world's greatest art collections - so let's see it handed back to the people," Smith urged, adding: "Buckingham palace would make a great tourist destination - if the royals moved out."