The notoriously private British royal household is pulling back the velvet curtain, so to speak, with a rare, behind-the-scenes look inside Buckingham Palace. A video, released by the royal family on Monday, takes viewers through some of the twisting corridors of the massive palace in London.
Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II resides, is currently undergoing a renovation. The video was released to illustrate how technology is being used to scan and measure rooms, providing a detailed map of the palace, which makes it easier for architects to plan and design renovations.
The technology shown in the video, called Point Cloud, is really pretty cool. But the video also gives a peek into the Royal surroundings.
The technology will be used to renovate the palace's nine small and impractical lifts (a.k.a., elevators), and at about 1:02 in the video, architectural lead Tony Barnard says “If you really want to understand why we need new lifts, imagine taking something from the kitchen all the way to a room at the front of the palace.”
A few seconds later, at about 1:08, the video takes viewers on the long journey from the kitchen to the Chinese Drawing Room (located at the front of the palace), which consists of an elevator ride and a very lengthy walk through the palace’s long corridors.
Check out the video:
While the Buckingham Palace offers tours during the summer months (from end of July through end of September), visitors typically only get a glimpse of the palace’s State Rooms and garden.
The massive refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, which will take a decade to complete, will also improve access to the palace with two redesigned entrances with wheelchair ramps, as well as improvements in electrical wiring, pipework, boilers and generators.
The Sovereign Grant (a grant funded by taxpayers to be used for the Queen’s official duties), increased significantly from £42.8 million ($58 million) for 2016/2017 to £76.1 million (nearly $100 million) for 2017/2018, largely to pay for the renovation. So the palace is striving to be transparent about the massive (and expensive) project.
“We are aware that this is a significant investment of public money,” Barnard explains in the video. “We are consciously using technology such as the Point Cloud survey to show that we get a good return on that investment, to design alterations that allows the palace to be more accessible and to function better.”
The palace's reservicing is expected to be done in 2027.
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