Astonishingly, permission has been granted by Westminster City Council to repair a part of the roof at Buckingham Palace, nearly 200 years after a leak was first discovered. Though many would assume that repairs and renewals at Buckingham Palace, headquarters of The Royal Family, would be dealt with quickly and efficiently, it appears this job has been on the ‘to-do-list’ since 1831.
The papers which were filed as part of the application for the repairs read, “Rain had already penetrated the covering of the south-west tower, and though fissures in the composition might readily be close, there was no guarantee against their reoccurrence. The substitution of a more durable covering was therefore advised.”
Many Buckingham Palace experts out there will know that the ‘Palace’ did not actually become the principal royal residence until the Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Buckingham House, as it was once known, was originally intended as a private retreat for Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III, following the Crown’s purchase of the property. King George IV decided to turn the house in to a palace and with the help of John Nash, the external façade was designed.
King William IV continued the renovations and after the Palace of Westminster fire in 1834, he considered converting the palace in to the new Houses of Parliament. William IV died before the completion of Buckingham Palace and so it fell to Queen Victoria to be the first Monarch to reside there.
The leak was first reported during the reign of King William IV, in 1831, and the section now being worked on is part of the North Range, which was the second part of the palace to be developed in it’s upgrade from the Buckingham House origins.
At the end of January 2020, the roof was opened up for investigation and was reported to be in “very poor condition” with “extensive blistering and cracking.”
The work is now in the hands of Martin Ashley Architects who are based in Twickenham, West London.