Kensington Palace ‘needs £3m overhaul’ before Wills-Kat move in

Updated: Nov 20, 2011, 13:56 PM IST

London: Kensington palace, which has been chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as their official London residence, will need a 3 million pounds security overhaul to make it safe enough for the Royal couple, according to experts.

They also say that at least 500,000 pounds need to be spent on technical upgrades while round-the-clock policing is expected to top 2.5 million pounds a year.

“A complete review of security is now required because Kensington Palace hasn’t been upgraded in years. Given the current threat and the fact this is to be the permanent home of such high- profile royals, it isn’t going to be cheap,” the Daily Express quoted a police source as saying.

According to a report by Assistec, which provides the security systems used by the US military worldwide, the cost of a new Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, including CCTV and infrared sensors with GPS to track intruders, is expected to cost around 150,000 pounds plus installation.

It estimates that a similar amount would need to be spent on secondary internal defences at Apartment 1A by fitting alarms on every door and window, panic alarms in every room and motion detectors able to trigger built-in video recording.

The couple might also want to install a panic room in the 1689 property, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

The five-bedroom, three-reception room apartment has not been decorated since 1960 and requires extensive refurbishment, including new plumbing, electrical rewiring and removal of asbestos.

While the Royal Family will pay for all interior decoration and furnishings, the costs of converting the apartment back into living quarters will be met by Government budgets for royal residences.

A minimum of five police officers will be required to staff every shift to provide 24-7 cover once the Royal couple take up residence in mid to late 2013.

The estimated cost of one armed police officer is 80,000 pounds including national insurance and pension contributions plus other benefits, so staffing every shift throughout the day will cost 2.5 million pounds a year.

The Kensington Palace was the official residence of Princess Margaret from 1960 until her death in 2002, and it was also the official residence of Princess Diana from 1981 until her death in 1997.