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  #321  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dman View Post
I say, go ahead and repair the whole place. The royals would do fine at Windsor for a whole year. I'm thinking St. James's Palace and Windsor Castle would be mainly used during the repairs.
I agree, but the press and the republic group will go absolutely crazy. We are talking about £150 million, probably even more.

Dickie Arbiter explains the problems the royal household has with such a small budget, and so many palaces that should be maintained.
Palace maintenance: 'Bits of the building keep falling off' - BBC News
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  #322  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:07 AM
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Given MPs are about to spend billions (between 3 and 7 billion) to repair the Palace of Westminster, 150 million isn't a lot of money for BP.

Britain seems to be the only country in the western world that has such difficulty funding its Head of State.
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  #323  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
I agree, but the press and the republic group will go absolutely crazy. We are talking about £150 million, probably even more.

Dickie Arbiter explains the problems the royal household has with such a small budget, and so many palaces that should be maintained.
Palace maintenance: 'Bits of the building keep falling off' - BBC News
I think it's all worth it. Complaints or not, it's totally worth keeping the royal family based there and for it to be safe and refreshed working and touring environment.
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  #324  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:19 AM
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Why force them to live there when they don't want to do so? Elizabeth and Philip didn't want to move in in 1952 and were forced to do so by Churchill but even then spend as little time there as possible preferring Windsor. Charles has already been reported as having the idea of not living there so why force them to live in a house none of them actually want to live in?


As for tourists - Versailles is already the most visited place in France and would have fewer visitors due to the fact that large parts of it would have to be closed if a family did actually live there.


I have been to London 8 times so far and on one day in those 8 visits, each of at least 5 days, did I ever see the Queen's standard flying there. It didn't remove the enjoyment, or that of the thousands of other people who were there to see the building. After all there is really only one or two times a year when people actually can see the royals at BP - Trooping being one and sometimes a special other event. Otherwise it is simply a big building where the Queen lives and if you are really lucky you might see a royal coming in or going out but that isn't all that often in my experience and even if you do they are in a car going reasonably fast to get where they want to go.
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  #325  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post
Someone posted a video on another thread of the Queen hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace (David Beckham was in attendance) and I must confess, my impression was that the interior of the rooms I saw seemed very dull and dark, a little shabby here and there and in need of redecoration/refurbishment as well as the more vital maintenance.

I do not wish to compare the palaces of individual countries as they all have their own history and design, but when I have seen receptions etc at the one in Brussels for instance, the rooms appear bright and sparkling, with polished wooden floors and chandeliers. Maybe I dislike faded red velvet too much!

Isn't Buckingham Palace much bigger and older though than the Royal Palace in Brussels ? I don't really know and that is why I'm asking.
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  #326  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:11 AM
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To me... the vast difference to visiting a LIVED [as well as worked] in house is made obvious by many visits to historic houses that this country is SO richly endowed with.The difference between Chatsworth [lived in] & Kedleston [not] is palpable.

The 'lived in' houses 'feel' domestic [because they ARE], no matter how grand, or intimidating the architecture.

Versailles [although STAGGERINGLY magnificent] just doesn't have that 'it' and tourists just shuffle around UNCOMPREHENDING of the space, and the meaning it ONCE had.
A family [something we are ALL part of], living somewhere [something we ALL do], makes it 'relatable' to everyone.

Windsor will be excellent temporarily, and anything that needs to be done 'in town' can be done at St James'...
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  #327  
Old 06-24-2015, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wyevale View Post
To me... the vast difference to visiting a LIVED [as well as worked] in house is made obvious by many visits to historic houses that this country is SO richly endowed with.The difference between Chatsworth [lived in] & Kedleston [not] is palpable.

The 'lived in' houses 'feel' domestic [because they ARE], no matter how grand, or intimidating the architecture.

Versailles [although STAGGERINGLY magnificent] just doesn't have that 'it' and tourists just stagger round UNCOMPREHENDING of the space, and the meaning it ONCE had.
A family [something we are ALL part of], living somewhere [something we ALL do], makes it 'relatable' to everyone.

Windsor will be excellent temporarily, and anything that needs to be done 'in town' can be done at St James'...

I agree completely. To me, there's a huge difference in visiting a living-and-breathing historic residence and visiting a no-longer-inhabited residence that's been turned into a museum.

It's always been my understanding that many - if not all - of the royals don't particularly like living in Buckingham Palace, though I think many of them would just as soon not spend much time in London generally. I think, though, that it's important for the family to keep a main headquarters in London, and Buckingham Palace is certainly that place. I think it's important not only for using the state rooms, but it's obviously also convenient for the monarch and some other members of a family (not to mention staff) to have both offices and private apartments there. As mentioned, it's not only the Queen who lives there.

St. James's Palace can obviously be used for official events in London in the meantime, but I think it would seem quite odd for St. James's Palace and Kensington Palace to London's only inhabited royal palaces in the long term.

How they handle things in the short term will also be interesting. Obviously the Queen can stay at Windsor, but places will have to be found for all the other people who live and/or work at BP. They not only need to find alternate space for these people, but it needs to be alternate space that isn't also in need of major repairs. As we've seen when other members of the family move into new quarters, that in itself can lead to quite a lot of time and expense.
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  #328  
Old 06-24-2015, 06:17 PM
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The morning news here just had a British reporter on who said that the repairs could take up to 10 years. If that is the case then the public will be completely used to BP not being a royal residence so no need for it to return to being that - especially if there is a new reign underway.


St James' is the 'official' seat of the royal court anyway so why shouldn't it be the 'official' home as well?
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  #329  
Old 06-24-2015, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
The morning news here just had a British reporter on who said that the repairs could take up to 10 years. If that is the case then the public will be completely used to BP not being a royal residence so no need for it to return to being that - especially if there is a new reign underway.


St James' is the 'official' seat of the royal court anyway so why shouldn't it be the 'official' home as well?
I don't doubt that the repairs will take much longer than they say (repairs always do), but that doesn't necessarily mean that the entire building would have to be vacated during all that time.

While St. James's Palace is, yes, the "official" seat, how many people really know that, or even really know that it exists? I don't think it's particularly recognizable to most people, and I'm not sure it would be practical. In giving up Buckingham Palace as a residence and office, that would be giving up quite a lot of well-located, usable space. Logistically and symbolically, it just makes more sense to me in the long term.
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  #330  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:58 PM
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According to news reports, it will take a year and BP will be closed for the public during one summer.

The Queen, family and staff may continue to live at BP during the renovations. They would just move to different parts of the BP.

The staff is reportedly down to around 270.

Although nothing has yet been decided on the logistics, they can began renovating the private rooms while the Queen is at Balmoral and the public rooms while she is at Sandringham.

BP is very large and there is no need to vacate the entire building during renovations.
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  #331  
Old 06-24-2015, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
The morning news here just had a British reporter on who said that the repairs could take up to 10 years. If that is the case then the public will be completely used to BP not being a royal residence so no need for it to return to being that - especially if there is a new reign underway.


St James' is the 'official' seat of the royal court anyway so why shouldn't it be the 'official' home as well?
I believe 10 years is a good estimate, and I think it will ultimately be more than the projected costs (look at KP, for example). I've never known a renovation of an older place to not involve a lot of unforeseen headaches. God knows what is lurking behind those old walls once they start poking around.
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  #332  
Old 06-25-2015, 03:34 AM
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I think the time is right to begin the renovation.. Both for the building and for the monarchy. It is long past due for the building and as for the monarchy... HM and DoE are spending 4 days a week in Windsor ... Just as easy for them to stay put in Windsor rather than shuffling back and forth. Hopefully the balcony will still remain accessible I think that is very important imagery.
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  #333  
Old 06-25-2015, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ROYAL NORWAY View Post
I agree, but the press and the republic group will go absolutely crazy. We are talking about £150 million, probably even more.

Dickie Arbiter explains the problems the royal household has with such a small budget, and so many palaces that should be maintained.
Palace maintenance: 'Bits of the building keep falling off' - BBC News
The Press and the Republican movement whinge all the time. So, nothing new there.

What really surprises me is the best "Expert" the BBC could get to give an informed view of the historical value and specific structural areas of concern, was HM's elderly, one time Press Secretary. Now that's really doing your homework!
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  #334  
Old 06-25-2015, 04:46 AM
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The popularity of BP is that there is a possibility that someone could see one of the royal family. Few probable know to look at the flag pole. Moving the family permanently out of BP to Windsor will severely affect the tax base of London. The Heathrow is already out there. Many people may never actually go into the city, or chose not to stay in hotels in the city. With the monarchy polling so high, now is the time to start.
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  #335  
Old 06-25-2015, 09:20 AM
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I can just imagine the cost benefit analysis and discussion of all this.

I imagine the work could be done wing by wing - and with the 10 year plan, that would be a contractor friendly approach.

But with the cost of moving valuable furnishings, endless shifting of staff, dust control for the other wings and their contents, and security issues (and the cost of all that), the cost benefit might just dictate that there would be a huge savings with a move out - at least for part of those ten years.
I also think practical considerations came into play. Noise and security foremost, but I would imagine (and hope) that the main kitchen would get a need to be gutted, rewired, get new HVAC and the rest of it. So at some point the ability to feed people might be constrained.

Personally, I think there will always be a long term BP residence option in London. A lot will depend on how comfortable BP is post rehab. And I am certain there will be energy friendly elements to electric and heating/cooling retrofits. I am equally certain Charles was in on full consultation about the work. I am the first to admit that I hope the queen lives healthily for many more years, but with a ten year project, Charles and Camilla may be the first reigning residents when all is complete.
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  #336  
Old 06-29-2015, 07:12 PM
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I also do not see it necessary for the Queen to live at BP. She seems to prefer Windsor and the long commute could be avoided in these advanced years. A refurbishment must indeed happen, regardless of the cost, and full consideration should be given to opening the palace for the full tourist season.
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  #337  
Old 06-29-2015, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by royal-blue View Post
I also do not see it necessary for the Queen to live at BP. She seems to prefer Windsor and the long commute could be avoided in these advanced years. A refurbishment must indeed happen, regardless of the cost, and full consideration should be given to opening the palace for the full tourist season.
I think part of the issue, though, is that the monarch and other members of the family do need a London base, because a lot of events do take place in the capital. Having an apartment to sleep in while having work to do in London just makes sense. Otherwise that commute would really be a pain, if it has to be done for individual events.

However, in the short term, I can see that she might just use Windsor - though it would be a bit weird for most of the rest of the family to have a London residence, but for the Queen to have to commute.
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  #338  
Old 06-29-2015, 09:57 PM
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Why do people think it will take 10 years?

They are not building a new palace. They are only removing asbestos, rewiring and updating the plumbing. They have already started. The asbestos was removed from areas in the basement so any wiring, plumbing and painting was probably also updated at the same time.

They will have multiple teams of people working not just a few people.

They have not decides how the work will be done but they will probably work in sections.

Example:

1.) A team of movers remove all the furniture, carpets and drapes from a few rooms.

2.) The asbestos team will remove asbestos from these rooms.

3.) Then the rewiring team and the plumbing team will come in do their work.

4.) Followed by the plasterers and painters.

5.) While all this work is being done, the carpets and drapes will be cleaned and repaired and the furniture would be repaired and upholstered.

6.) Return carpet, drapes and furniture to each room.

Step 5 would only apply to the nineteen State Rooms. (and maybe the Queens & Philip's private quarters.)

The articles I read stated the Palace would be closed for one year, which makes sense since the family and most of the staff would not be at the palace during the renovations.

IIRC, the State Rooms are on the second level, the Queen's & Philip's rooms are on the second level, the family bedrooms are on the third level. The staff rooms are probably on the fourth level and in the basement. Staff offices are probably on the ground level.

If BP is closed for a year, then three floors are empty or near empty of people.

If BP is closed for a year, why would most of the staff stay at BP?

The staff that is needed would move to Windsor.
The staff that can be placed at Balmoral, Sandringham or with other members of the RF will move to their new positions temporarily or permanently. The staff that cannot be placed will be made redundant.
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  #339  
Old 06-30-2015, 03:15 AM
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I doubt that it will take ten years, but refurbishment and repairs might take longer than one year. Buckingham Palace is a very old building and things deteriorate when they've been neglected and left for such a long time. We don't know what might be found when floorboards and plaster etc are removed. Of course this is needed and will be done in stages but I can't see the cost of it as coming in below £100 million.
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  #340  
Old 06-30-2015, 04:28 AM
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Many of these rooms are gold gilted and that takes a long time to remove and replace.


Removing asbestos also takes a long time and has to be done safely. If the walls are also made of asbestos sheets and that is possible not only does the asbestos have to be removed but the walls etc replaced and then plastered and gilted.


Doing room by room is one way but it isn't the most cost effective way. It is far more cost effective to go through and do have one team go through and remove all the astestos before another team come in to remove any other gilt and walls that have to come down to do the rewiring and replumbing to bring the palace into the 21st C.


All the art works would have to be packed up and moved to safety - which itself could take months to do - but it wouldn't be a good idea to have those treasures in the place while workmen are using the equipment they would be using.


The problem is that the British public don't want to spend any money on places like this and eventually the palace will become unliveable. I drove past their yesterday and the deterioration since I last saw it in person is marked and that was the outside.
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