What Will Happen to the Buckingham Palace Renovations When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?

Buckingham Palace in London is Queen Elizabeth II‘s official working residence. It also where the monarch has lived most of her life and raised her children. It has 828,000 square feet of living space and boasts 775 rooms. These include 19 Staterooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 bedrooms for staffers, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms. 

But the palace is currently undergoing a massive renovation that is said to continue for another seven years which would make the queen 102, the age her mother was when she passed away. While no one likes to think about it, there have been questions about what would happen to the project if the queen doesn’t make it that long.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Read on to find out what these renovations entail and what will happen when England’s longest-reigning monarch is no longer with us.

The renovations that are taking place at the palace

The work being done to Buckingham Palace will cost more than $475 million when it’s completed but it is necessary to repair the palace’s aging infrastructure.

“The palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing, and heating have not been updated since the 1950s,” said Sir Michael Stevens, who holds the position of keeper of the privy purse.

He added, “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.”

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace | Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What will happen when Queen Elizabeth dies

Of course, no one can’t predict when their time is up or exactly how things will play out when they’re near the end of their life. But the Palace envisions that the queen’s death will go something like this: She’ll be surrounded by doctors and loved ones and pass away after a brief illness. The queen’s senior doctor gastroenterologist Huw Thomas, will be in charge of who can go into her room at which time and when the information of her passing should be made public.

Queen Elizabeth has laid out several rules to be carried out after her death from how long she should be mourned to what should be played on public television.

She stated that there will be 12 official days of mourning during which time the BBC cannot air any comedies or other humorous programs. Her body will lie in state for those days and her son, Prince Charles, will become England’s next monarch.

Will her death affect the work being done?

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

The palace renovations will not be halted or affected otherwise by Queen Elizabeth’s death. That’s because she does not oversee the project and doesn’t have much input on what’s being done.

The project is overseen by her husband, Prince Philip. He, however, has since retired and lives more than 100 miles away at Wood Farm Cottage on the grounds of the Sandringham estate. The Duke of Edinburgh is reportedly still briefed on the work being conducted by Prince Charles and Prince William who are there more than he is.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was very involved in the 1992 restoration of Windsor Castle. He is keen for us to follow a phased approach in the re-servicing project [at Buckingham Palace], and said, ‘You will learn from your mistakes,’” a royal source told The Telegraph.

Read more: You’ll Never Believe What Machine Queen Elizabeth II Had Installed Inside Buckingham Palace