25 Sep 2010

Palace officials criticised for heating grants bid

11:26 am on 25 September 2010

Buckingham Palace has been accused of having contempt for ordinary people after it emerged officials tried to apply for grants, aimed at helping low-income families, to heat royal palaces.

Aides made inquiries about funding to replace four boilers after royal gas and electricity bills increased by 50% in 2004 to more than £1 million - a level described as "untenable".

But government officials said the royal household was not eligible for the cash and if money was handed over they feared it would lead to "probable adverse press coverage".

The attempts to get funding were revealed in documents disclosed to the Independent newspaper under a Freedom of Information request.

Anti-monarchy campaign group Republic called for the management of the palaces to be opened up to full scrutiny.

A spokesperson says the documents were clear evidence of the contempt the palace has for ordinary people and that the sense of entitlement spoke volumes about the attitudes of the Royal family and their household.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman declined to comment on the disclosures.