Cutting Back

How Buckets Catch Rain Leaks At Windsor Castle

British aristocrats have long worried about ‘keeping the roof on’ their ageing and stately piles, and it seems the Queen is not immune from such concerns.

The Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Alan Reid revealed yesterday - as he faced his annual grilling from MPs - that buckets are used to catch water leaking through rooves, and that most of the state rooms used for entertaining foreign heads of state have not been decorated since the Queen came to the throne 60 years ago.

The maintenance of the royal palaces has been neglected as the royals have attempted to cut costs.

Princess Anne was almost hit by falling masonry as she got out of her car at Buckingham Palace just a few years ago.

Windsor Castle has had its lead roofs ‘patched up’ so many times that an area the size of both Centre and No1 courts at Wimbledon needs replacing.

It also seems likely that the Royal train, the locomotive reserved exclusively for the use of the Queen and Prince Charles, will be retired and not replace din the next few years, as Sir Alan said the cost of replacing it would be ‘staggering’.

There’s a nice piece on the royal train in the Mail today by Quentin Letts, one of the few journalists to have travelled on it, describing its "naff blue bath tub and cheapo furniture'.