LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II is costing British taxpayers a bit more this year.

Official financial figures published Thursday reveal that overall costs have gone up, in part because of a 10-year program to refit aging Buckingham Palace, the queen’s official residence in central London.

Officials say many of the palace’s heating, electrical and plumbing systems have not been updated since the 1950s and that extensive work is needed.

Michael Stevens, who holds the title Keeper of the Privy Purse that represents his financial management role, says the refurbishment is urgently needed “to help avert the very real danger of a catastrophic building failure such as in a flood or fire.”

The palace will remain open and operational during the renovation.

Stevens said there are three generations of the royal family working to support the queen for the first time since the reign of Queen Victoria. Prince William and Prince Harry have taken more active roles in the last year, adding to official costs.

Taxpayer funds used to cover official duties and other costs increased for the financial year that ended on March 31. Palace officials say the cost of payroll, travel and property maintenance all increased.

The priciest voyage was a trip by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, to India, Malaysia, Bruneil and Singapore, in part because of the use of the Royal Air Force Voyager plane.

Charles, who has increasingly stepped in for his mother the queen at royal events, also made extensive use of the royal train for official travel inside Britain.

The financial report says the 92-year-old queen carried out 154 official engagements during the financial year.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.