Queen spends £1.2million on replacement doors for Windsor Castle's Orangery

More than £4million was spent on major property maintenance projects at Windsor Castle in 2016-17 - including £1.2million on replacement doors for the Orangery.

Annual accounts for the year were released this morning (Tuesday) which show the Queen's expenditure was £41.9million, met by the Sovereign Grant - funding provided to support the official duties of the monarch and the Occupied Royal Palaces.

This equates to a cost of 65p per person in the UK.

The grant was up from £39.8million (an increase of £2.1million) in 2015-16, mainly due to an increase in spending on property maintenance.

In 2016-17 there were 177 projects over £5,000 in value carried out across the Crown Estate, 12 of which had a construction works spend in excess of £250,000 in the year.

Five of these were specific to Windsor and included the Orangery doors, which cover one entire facade of the Orangery on the castle's East Terrace and were suffering severe wood rot and decay.

The others were replacing the roof coverings on the north side of the upper ward at the State Entrance (£1.5m), the replacement of the heating and ventilation system serving the Grand Corridor (£0.3million), water infrastructure repairs and replacement (£0.3m) and the building of a Conservation Workshop in Home Park - the last project being fully funded by the Royal Collection Trust.

The Queen’s official expenditure is met from public funds in exchange for the surrender of the revenue from the Crown Estate.

The Sovereign Grant is calculated based on 15 per cent of the income account net surplus of the Crown Estate for the financial year two years previous.

The Crown Estate surplus for the financial year 2014-15 amounted to £285.1 million thereby producing a Sovereign Grant of £42.8 million for 2016-17.

During the year April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, the Queen undertook 162 official engagements in the United Kingdom whilst the Duke of Edinburgh undertook 196 official engagements. Members of the Royal Family undertook 65 overseas visits.

In a report detailing royal journeys costing £15,000 or more, the most expensive was a charter for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to visit Italy, Romania and Austria, costing £154,000.

In journeys costing under £15,000, a total 213 helicopter flights were made, costing £731,889.

There was good news for the castle's green credentials - the hydro-electric scheme at Romney Lock produced 1.2million kWh of renewable electricity for use at Windsor Castle, up from 1million the previous year.

Commenting on the Sovereign Grant Report 2016-17, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Alan Reid, said: "During the year to March 31, 2017, over 3,000 official engagements were undertaken across the United Kingdom and overseas by members of the Royal Family.

"These included major national events including the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial on Victoria Embankment, and celebrating the success of Team GB at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

"As the report states, the activities of the wider Royal Family are vital in bringing the monarchy into direct and personal contact with all sections of society. We can expect to see other members of the family doing even more to support the Queen in the years ahead.

"In 2016-17 the Sovereign Grant equated to a cost of 65p per person in the United Kingdom – the price of a first-class stamp. When you consider that against what the Queen does and represents for this country, I believe it represents excellent value for money."


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