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Queen under pressure to open Buckingham Palace more often to pay bills

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If tourists were given access to Buckingham Palace more often, money could be found for the upkeep of historic state apartments like this one, say MPs. Under current arrangements visitors can only tour 63 days of the year, when the Queen is away over the summer 

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In many cases residences like Balmoral (pictured) and Windsor Castle have not received so much as a lick of paint for years 

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The royal mausoleum, which is the burial site of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert urgently needs £3 million of work 

02 JUNE 2009

The White House opens to visitors five days a week and the public can tour the Houses of Parliament throughout the year. Now the royal household is coming under pressure for Buckingham Palace to receive tourists more often. Additional funds from the tours could then be spent on the backlog of repairs for crumbling royal residences, argue MPs.

However Palace aides insist that a longer opening period is not feasible as it would interfere with official business

Some £32 million of work is needed on the royal estates, which include Holyrood in Edinburgh – the Queen's official residence in Scotland – Balmoral, her summer base in the Highlands, and Clarence House, the home of Prince Charles.

The state rooms at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace have not been painted since the monarch came to the throne 57 years ago, while the electrical systems at the Palace have not been updated since 1948.

Meanwhile, £3 million of work is urgently needed at the magnificent burial site of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert at Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle.

Completed in 1871, the mausoleum has been awaiting restoration for 14 years and is on English Heritage's buildings at-risk register.

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