Kate Middleton and Prince William's renovations on their new Kensington Palace home have cost taxpayers around $1.5 million, according to a report published Thursday in BBC News.
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The royal couple and their unborn baby are expected to move into Apartment 1A (which People magazine has called "the size of a small mansion") in the 57-room palace this fall. The couple is paying for additions such as curtains and other light furnishings themselves. But the building work (heating, plastering, and electrical) is covered by government money given to Queen Elizabeth. Of course, she could afford it on her own—the Washington Times reports that the Queen will receive a 5 percent salary increase in 2014, which will boost her paycheck to $58 million.
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According to a story published Thursday in the Daily Mail, the internal renovations have cost $916,560 and improvements made to the roof have cost $609,960. "This essential structural work needed to be completed [by] whoever moved into the buildings at Kensington Palace," says a royal spokesperson. "Large quantities of asbestos have had to be removed, as well as work on the heating and hot water systems and electrical wiring. The last major works in the apartment took place around the time that Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon moved in more than 50 years ago. The cost of interior decorating and furnishing of course falls to the Royal Family privately."
The royals have been splurging on more than just their new digs. The BBC reports that Kate Middleton and Prince William have taken the most expensive foreign trip of any royal family member over the last year. Their Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012 (a trip to celebrate the queen's 60-year reign) cost an eye-popping $563,658, which includes expenses for the two and their staff.
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