Buckingham Palace needs repairs; queen may have to leave

Buckingham Palace To Undergo Massive Renovations

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II may have to move out of Buckingham Palace during much-needed renovations to the residence, which has not been substantially redecorated since she took the throne in 1952, royal officials said Wednesday.

Officials say the palace needs an estimated 150 million pounds ($237 million) of renovation and upgrades, including replacing old plumbing and wiring and removing asbestos. Having her move out during the work is one option being considered.

The queen has several other residences but spends about a third of her time in the London palace, which was first used by her ancestor Queen Victoria. It is the site of summer garden parties and scores of ceremonial events each year.

7 PHOTOS
Queen Elizabeth II and Buckingham Palace through the years
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Buckingham Palace needs repairs; queen may have to leave
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach to travel to the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening on May 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach to travel to the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening on May 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) walks to meet guests at a garden party held at Buckingham Palace, central London on May 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL /John Stillwell (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Prince George of Cambridge is held by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II look out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour on June 13, 2015 in London, England. . The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) ride in The Queen's Carriage during the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour,' from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade in London on June 13, 2015. The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. In 1748, it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. More than 600 guardsmen and cavalry make up the parade, a celebration of the Sovereign's official birthday, although the Queen's actual birthday is on 21 April. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) arrives back at Buckingham Palace from Horse Guards Parade in a horse-drawn carriage preceeded and followed by marching guardsmen and other members of the royal family including Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (CL) riding beside the arriage during the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour,' in London on June 13, 2015. The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. In 1748, it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. More than 600 guardsmen and cavalry make up the parade, a celebration of the Sovereign's official birthday, although the Queen's actual birthday is on 21 April. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 9: Queen Elizabeth II receives The Ambassador of Georgia Dr Revaz Gachechiladze and Mrs Mzia Marsagishvili as he presents his Letter of Credence at Buckingham Palace on December 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Keeper of the Privy Purse Alan Reid said maintenance on aging royal buildings, "and in particular Buckingham Palace, will present a significant financial challenge" in the next few years.

Annual accounts published Wednesday showed that the monarchy costs taxpayers 35.7 million pounds in the year to March 31, the equivalent of 56 pence per person. That was unchanged from the year before.

Almost half the money, 18.7 million pounds, was spent on payroll costs, while property maintenance cost 11.7 million pounds and 5.1 million pounds was spent on official travel. The most expensive trip was an eight-day visit to Colombia and Mexico by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, which cost almost 450,000 pounds.

The queen, who turned 89 in April, has cut back on her public duties but still undertook 196 public engagements during the year. She's in Berlin on Wednesday, along with Prince Philip, at the start of a three-day state visit to Germany.

See the Queen's style transformation through the years:
44 PHOTOS
Queen Elizabeth's Style Transformation
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Buckingham Palace needs repairs; queen may have to leave

June 1927: A positively precious portrait of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York. 

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1932: Princess Elizabeth, wearing a sharp little coat, walks in to visit the Royal Tournament at Olympia.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1933: Princess Elizabeth stands beside her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose.

Photo: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

June 1936: Wearing a sweet pink dress, Princess Elizabeth looks quite charming, standing with her mother and sister.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1938: Princess Elizabeth standing with her grandmother, Queen Mary, matching her younger sister in a long trench coat and mary-jane shoes.

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

June 1940: Princess Elizabeth looking studious (if unhappily so) at Windsor Castle.  

Photo: Lisa Sheridan, Getty Images

May 1944: Princess Elizabeth wearing a summer dress and sunhat in the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

Photo: Lisa Sheridan, Getty Images

February 1952: An official picture of when Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne, becoming Queen, and wearing some impressive jewels.

Photo: APIC/Getty Images

December 1953: Talk about a long train! Her Majesty at her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

March 1954: Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Government House, Melbourne, during her tour of Australia.

Photo: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

April 1954: The Queen in a floral-patterned dress for a tour of Aden, Yemen.

Photo: Universal Picture Group/Getty Images

November 1954: Queen Elizabeth dancing with Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin, at a ball held at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, 26th November 1954. The ball celebrated the centenary of the Battle of Balaclava.

Photo: Dennis Oulds via Getty Images

June 1956: Queen Elizabeth II in Sweden, wearing a lot of pearls and an interesting hat.

Photo: M. McKeown, Hulton Archive/Getty Images

January 1960: The Queen wearing a classic jacket as she stands with Prince Charles and Prince Edward at Windsor castle.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, Getty Images

July 1965: Queen Elizabeth II wore a vibrant coat and hat at Ventnor during a royal visit to the Isle of Wight. 

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

January 1969: The Queen, in a fuchsia dress, walks beside U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Photo: Hulton Archive, Getty Images

January 1973: Now that is glamour: from the intricate pattern, to the fur and crown, there's not much else we can ask for!

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

February 1977: Queen Elizabeth looks like she's ready for spring in this plaid dress and bright hat.

Photo: Serge Lemoine, Getty Images

July 1982: Navy and white is always in style, and we appreciate the small pattern on her dress mixed with the bold lines of the hat.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 1986: Queen Elizabeth II stands out in robin's egg blue during a visit to Hong Kong.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

May 1993: The Queen and Prince Philip attend a formal banquet, the queen in a bright pink gown and a very expensive -- and we expect heavy -- accessory on her head.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

March 1995: The Queen visited South Africa and wore a bright yellow hat with this patterned dress.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

November 1998: London must be chilly in November! The Queen wore this large fur coat as she left the House of the Lords.

Photo: Johnny Eggitt, Getty Images

November 2002: The Queen and Prince Philip attend the premiere of the "Die Another Day" James Bond flick, dressed to impress!

Photo: Nicolas Asfouria, AFP/Getty Images

November 2003: U.S. President George W. Bush is formally welcomed to the U.K. by the Queen, dressed here in a lilac coat and hat.

Photo: Kristy Wigglesworth, AFP/Getty Images

June 2004: The Queen's hats keep getting better and better, and we love the top hat vibe this one has for Trooping the Colour.

Photo: James Quinton, WireImage/Getty Images

June 2005: A lady in pink always shows up men in black (though they look quite dapper as well!).

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 2005: Her Majesty looked stunning in this white coat to visit the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House and Museum.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, WireImage/Getty Images

May 2006: Queen Elizabeth II attends the Order of the Bath service, dressed in traditional garments, and looking lovely.

Photo: Anwar Hussein, Getty Images

June 2006: The Queen looks chic in this dress as she and Prince Philip attend a performance at the Royal Opera House.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

May 2007: The Queen dials up the fun of this look by wearing vibrant, neon pink in her accents, paired with a lavender wool coat.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

October 2007: Her Majesty attends the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, dressed in silk.

Photo: John Stillwell, AFP/Getty Images

June 2008: The Queen hosts a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and we're loving the sheer umbrella.

Photo: Tim Graham, Getty Images

October 2008: The Queen wore this intricately patterned dress during a two-day tour of Slovenia.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

December 2008: The Queen attends the Christmas Day church service, looking lovely in a holiday-themed outfit.

Photo: Chris Jackson, Getty Images

June 2009: Her Majesty knows how to accessorize, and we can't get enough of her great looks!

Photo: Indigo/Getty Images

November 2010: The Queen wore this floral dress during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

Photo: Julian Parker, UK Press/Getty Images

April 2011: Prepping for the royal wedding in style, the Queen attends a dinner in this metallic and periwinkle gown.

Photo: Danny Martindale, WireImage/Getty Images

May 2011: Dashing leaders! Looking stunning in an embellished dress, Queen Elizabeth prepares to attend a State Banquet with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Photo: Chris Jackson, AFP/Getty Images

June 2012: Queen Elizabeth accessorizes this monochrome ensemble with vibrantly colored flowers.

Photo: Julian Parker, UK Press/Getty Images

June 2012: The Queen shares a laugh at the Queen's Cup Polo Day in 2012, dressed in the color of success.

Photo: Nick Harvey, WireImage/Getty Images

March 2013: The dark trim on this coat adds another level of sophistication, as if the Queen needed any help in that department!

Photo: Mark Cuthbert, UK Press/Getty Images

April 2014: This portrait of Queen Elizabeth by photographer David Bailey was released on April 20, 2014 to mark her majesty's 88th birthday on Monday April 21. 

Photo: Getty Images

April 2015: The Queen attends a reception at Canada House on April 19, 2015 in London.

Photo: Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images

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