Buckingham Palace is about to get a whole lot more palatial.
On Friday, the U.K. government approved a $ 460 million, 10-year palace renovation plan that is expected to add a multi-billion pound boost to the British economy. The makeover will include restoring water pipes installed after World War II, as well as electrical wiring and the heating systems, so as to prevent fire risks and flood damage.
The decade-long overhaul aims to improve visitor access, and will be done in phases so that the palace can remain fully functional.
“Tourists are drawn to this country because of our culture, heritage and royal legacy, and when they visit they spend billions of pounds and support thousands of jobs,” Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said in a statement.
“We must ensure that the special architectural and historic nature of some of our greatest buildings are protected for future generations, therefore it is only right we ensure Buckingham Palace is fit for purpose,” Gauke continued. “These urgent works have been properly costed and will ensure the Palace can continue its centuries-long tradition of being the working house of our Monarch. We will ensure every penny spent achieves the greatest value for money.”
The renovation will be funded by a 10 percent temporary taxpayer increase of the Sovereign Grant which funds Queen Elizabeth’s official duties.
Built in the 17th century, Buckingham Palace remains Queen Elizabeth’s home base for carrying out her obligations as the Head of State and the Commonwealth. In addition to welcoming more than half-a-million tourists during its summer schedule, the palace has hosted over 90,000 people in the last year for small receptions, state visits, and more.
Among the recent celebrities invited to the royal digs is Rod Stewart, who was officially knighted by Prince William last month. Watch the ceremony in the video below.