Royal household’s maintenance of treasures questioned

The Royal Family has come under pressure from MPs over the exclusion of the
Royal Collection Trust – with income of £27m from visitors to Buckingham Palace
and Windsor Castle – from the remit of the National Audit Office.

A report from MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee said: ‘We can see
no constitutional justification for the comptroller and auditor general being
denied access to the trust. The Royal Collection Trust looks after a vast
number of priceless works of art on behalf of the nation and its commercial
success impacts directly on the amount of resources available to maintain the
occupied royal palaces, but the trust is not accountable to parliament.’

Their conclusion was reached in a report which disclosed the Royal Household
has an estimated £32m maintenance backlog, including a failure to maintain the
Victoria and Albert mausoleum. The building is now on the English Heritage
‘buildings at risk’ register, a move denounced as a ‘scandal’ by committee
chairman Edward Leigh.

He said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had failed to exert a
firm grip on the upkeep of the royal palaces and urged more of the income from
tourists should be passed to the Royal Household to spend on building

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