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Buckingham Palace repairs funding approved by MPs

Funding for a multimillion-pound refurbishment of Buckingham Palace has been approved by MPs.

They backed changes to the Sovereign Grant – the funding formula for the monarchy’s official duties – by 464 votes to 56.

The grant will increase by 66% to pay for the £369m refurbishment.

Officials say the essential work – set to take 10 years – is needed to avoid the risk of “catastrophic building failure”.

Ageing cables, lead pipes, wiring and boilers will be replaced, many for the first time in 60 years, amid fears about potential fire and water damage.

Two Labour MPs – Rushanara Ali and Dennis Skinner- were among those who opposed the move, along with 46 from the SNP.

At a time of austerity, this significant increase in the money given to the royals has attracted little public criticism and minimal parliamentary scrutiny.

It was very different in the 1990s when the government suggested spending taxpayers’ money on repairs to Windsor Castle after it was damaged by fire.

Two decades on, the Sovereign Grant increase has been approved after a committee of MPs considered the matter briefly, and after an overwhelming Commons vote in favour.

Next month, the Queen’s funding will rise from £43m to £76m. And it will rise each year, for the next 10 years.

The focus now is on appointing consultants and finalising the refurbishment plans.

With the builders in for at least a decade, the Queen may be tempted, at times, to replace her crown with a hard hat.