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Buckingham Palace dining room closed over ceiling safety concerns | UK news | The Guardian

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Buckingham Palace dining room closed over ceiling safety concerns

Routine inspection finds issue with one of the beams above ornate state room used for post-banquet coffee

Press Association

Mon 30 Nov 2015 11.07 EST Last modified on Fri 15 Sep 2017 15.36 EDT

This article is over 3 years old Mind your head. The Queen delivers her 2014 Christmas message from the state dining room in Buckingham Palace. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA

The state dining room at Buckingham Palace has been closed due to concerns over the safety of its ceiling.

The Queen has been made aware of the issue at her official London residence after the problem was uncovered following a routine survey. Official functions scheduled to be held in the room will be moved.

The ornate state dining room is located on the west of the building and has dark red flocked wallpaper. During state visits, guests retire to the dining room for coffee following the banquet in the ballroom, as the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, did last month during his high-profile stay. The Queen recorded her Christmas message in the room last year.

A palace spokesman said: “As the result of a routine survey, an issue was found with one of the ceiling beams in the roof space of the state dining room. Following further assessment, access to the room has been suspended.”

It is not know how long the room will be out of use. Adjoining rooms, such as the ballroom and the picture gallery, have not been affected, the palace said.

Any repairs will not be part of the building’s 10-year property maintenance plan. The palace is in need of a complete overhaul, including rewiring, updating the plumbing and removing asbestos.

Royal sources revealed this year that the Queen may have to move out to allow for the refurbishments, the bill for which is estimated to be £150m.


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