HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc710-1W
Paul Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who owns Clarence House; how much public money has been spent on the recent renovation; and for what reasons public money was used for this renovation. [119117]

Mr. Caborn

Clarence House, as part of St. James's Palace, is held by the Queen as Sovereign on behalf of the nation, not as a private individual. It has always been included as part of the Occupied Royal Palaces' Estate.

A total of £3.9 million, comprising works and fees, but excluding VAT, is being spent on the redecoration and refurbishment of Clarence House from the existing public funding made available every year through grant in aid for the maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces.

As Heir to Throne, the Prince of Wales is moving from his present London residence, where the accommodation is very limited, to Clarence House which offers better facilities for him to fulfil his official duties. The Grant-in-aid has been used for the renovation as it pays for the maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces in order to enable the Queen and members of the Royal Family to undertake official duties and fulfil their important official role.