08:05AM, Friday 18 October 2013
Worries are growing about the crumbling state of the Queen's many historic buildings - including two in Windsor - after Her Majesty's treasurer admitted to MPs that 39 per cent of them need serious work.
Repairs to the roofing of Upper Ward at Windsor Castle are due to be carried as a top priority this financial year.
National reports this week claimed the lead has been patched up so many times an area the size of two Wimbledon tennis courts needs replacing - although this has not been confirmed.
On Monday, Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart grilled Sir Alan Reid, keeper of the Privy Purse and the Queen's treasurer, over the decaying state of the Victoria and Albert Mausoleum at Frogmore in Windsor Great Park.
The mausoleum was built by Queen Victoria for herself and her beloved Albert after his death in 1861, and is their final resting place.
The Express reported in 2009 that a committee of MPs had described the state of the building as a 'scandal' after part of the ceiling collapsed and it was placed on the 'at risk' list.
But on Monday, MPs on the same commons public accounts committee - including Miss Mactaggart - found little had changed in the last four years.
Miss Mactaggart said: "I am rather shocked at the complacency shown.
"It seems to me that this committee made a priority of that particular building four years ago.
"All that has happened are recent works to begin to dry it out."
Sir Alan said: "Since 2009 we have had to reduce our expenditure by 16 per cent in real terms.
"It's not possible to do everything at once."
Writer and broadcaster Hugo Vickers has added his voice to the concerns being expressed.
The historian was allowed special access to the mausoleum in 2010.
He said: "It was in a terrible state. It is very important that it be restored and looked after.
"Queen Victoria built it and regularly took visitors there - it is a very special building and should be given care and attention."
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