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Royal repair bill goes up by £8m

The cost of carrying out a backlog of maintenance work at Buckingham Palace and other royal residences has increased from its previous multimillion-pound figure, it has been revealed.

The bill to complete essential repairs by a notional date of 2018 has risen by £8 million since last year to stand at £40 million, according to the annual report of royal accounts.

A total of £13 million will be needed to replace the lead and slate roofs at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, while refurbishing the state rooms at both royal homes is expected to cost £4.5 million.

Other projects waiting to be completed include £2.8 million of conservation work at the Victoria and Albert Mausoleum, at Frogmore, Berkshire, which remains on English Heritage’s at-risk register.

Money for the upkeep of occupied royal palaces comes from a grant-in-aid provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The amount is set every three years and stands at £16 million for the 2008/11 period – despite calls from Palace aides last year for a significant increase.

But in April, MPs on the Commons public accounts committee said Buckingham Palace should be open more often to the public to raise the funds for the repairs.