Royal Refurbishment: All In This Together?

By Helen Paton

Whether you’ve been watching The Crown series on Netflix, or you just enjoy taking selfies outside Buckingham Palace. You might of heard about our own British crown controversy of the month, this is, how government approved a sovereign grant of 369 million pounds; yes millions, to restore the Queen’s palace in London. Buckingham is the biggest landmark of Britain and it brings millions of tourists each year to contemplate the history behind the crown of Britain. Those big numbers come from a 10-year refurbishment to the 775 rooms, replacement of electric wires, water pipes and the heating system, these were last replaced after the second world war. The big cost of this is due mainly to the continuous postponing of reparations in the palace because of the millions of visitors who come every year and the birth of the two young princes.

This huge amount of money comes from the UK- treasury, approved by Theresa May’s royal committee, which means this sovereign grant is increased by 66% and it’s possible because of tax, the tax a UK resident pays every month. It’s extremely controversial that the UK legal residents are paying huge amounts of tax every month to potentially sustain the country, and instead, this money is to be used to modernize a palace, which we will never be able to enter.

In a moment of political and economic austerity after the referendum, many would question what’s the role of the crown. The British monarchy is without a doubt the most influential in the world, which potentially increases our UK Treasury by billions each year. This does not justify this monstrous inversion to the palace, why should we pay for this massive and unnecessary refurbishment, when we have people struggling to get food and a roof? This is why the monarchy is always under question by many, we cannot be incoherent to our values, however, this refurbishment is necessary, but the budget should be reviewed, those number would help our NHS or the families currently struggling, why spend more in the monarchy that has more than enough?  Should the monarchy stay after brexit? As we go out from being a member of the European Union, it’s key to comprehend our history as a country, what would that be without a monarch in it? Every history book that says Britain on it talks about Queen Victoria or how Henry Vlll caused a revolution in religion. We must be proud of how our country has stayed strong and carried on with it’s traditions through time, in these moments of instability it’s important to have an identity that unites us.

Image: NIL L via Flickr

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