Heritage

New Photos of the Buckingham Palace Renovation Reveal What Queen Elizabeth's Residence Really Looks Like

Without the furniture and fine art, that is.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES
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Buckingham Palace is getting a makeover. The Queen's centuries-old residence is currently in the middle of a major refurbishment and the royal family has been sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the process on social media.

For example, here are two photos recently posted on Twitter, one of the Palace's East Wing with all the furniture, carpet, drapes, and works of art, and another of the same space completely emptied out, a process which is also known as "decanting."


The wing, which is the most recognizable in the palace, has been "decanted," so work can be done to service outdated heating and electrical systems, and also so improvements can be made to the space for visitors.

"Moving historic works of art within a historic interior is always a very complex business, but this is really on a very grand scale," Caroline de Guitaut, the senior curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust, explains in a video of the decanting process.

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In total, approximately 3,000 historic pieces are being relocated from the East Wing, including paintings, textiles, furniture, books, and decorative objects. Most of the items will be moved within Buckingham Palace, but approximately 150 pieces will go on display within Brighton's Royal Pavilion later this year.

Another video, which was shared on the Royal Family's Instagram account, offers a look behind the walls at the Palace's aging infrastructure, and how shows a new energy center is being installed in the Palace basement.

"The new energy center will have multiple benefits," explains Project Manager Barry Igoe in the clip.

"It will deliver increased flexibility in terms of heating solutions for the Palace. It will do this both more cost effectively and with increased resilience. In addition to this, the new energy center will be much more environmentally friendly in delivering carbon emissions savings in excess of 300 tonnes per year."

The renovations are expected to take place over the course of several years and to cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

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"The palace's electrical cabling, plumbing, and heating have not been updated since the 1950s," explained Sir Michael Stevens, who holds the position of keeper of the privy purse.

"The building's infrastructure is now in urgent need of an overhaul to avoid the very real danger of catastrophic failure leading to fire or flood, and incalculable damage to the building and priceless works of art in the Royal Collection."

*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Caroline Hallemann
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