Royal Windows: How Much Does it Cost just to Clean the Queen’s Windows?

Royals certainly aren’t short of places to stay. The Queen herself has six residences that she regularly moves between: with Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Balmoral Castle her preferred spots to hang her hat. In total though, there are 27 Royal-owned buildings in the UK that members of the family still regularly call home – whether that’s all year round or just for holidays. 

How much do the Royals Spend on their Homes?

While some royal property upkeep estimates have been made, the actual total sum remains a mystery. 

Some spots, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, and St James’ Palace, require constant upkeep from hundreds of staff members, as they’re occupied most of the year by either the Queen or her relatives. Others, like Sandringham House (the Norfolk-based royal Christmas retreat reportedly favoured by the Queen), are actively lived in for less time and require less attention during times they are not occupied. However, even in such cases, live-in staff or visiting contractors are employed to take care of every property during the year – not only in constant anticipation of a royal arrival – but also to ensure they are kept in a good and functional condition. As part of this procedure, the building works will be attended to, gardens will be kept in good condition, cleaners will regularly polish, hoover, and brush away the cobwebs… and all the rest.

In 2020, a report was released that estimated how much Buckingham Palace alone cost to keep clean, tidy, and keep in working order – with the figure sitting in the tens of millions. This, in itself, shocked the nation, with many seeking cost breakdowns for specific areas. For instance, how much the team of palace chefs was paid every year (£60,000), or how much was spent on the palace’s energy bills (£2.5 million). 

While many of these costs have since been estimated, they only really give an indication – and even then, that’s only for one of the royal residences.  Art Windows & Doors wanted to go one step further.


 In this study, the team started with blueprints of each of the 26 royal properties, which they used to calculate the total number of windows each building has. They then used the average cost of cleaning one window pane (£3.00). This was calculated using the median UK hourly rate for window cleaners (£20-£50) along with an estimation of the number of window panes which can be cleaned within this time, according to Check a Trade. 

Which Property has the Most Windows?

Tied for first place were Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – both with 760 windows each. In second place was The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which has 400 windows in total. 

The home with the least windows was Y Bwthyn Bach – the tiny Royal wendy house that sits near the Royal Lodge at Windsor Great Park and was gifted to the Queen on her sixth birthday, and Frogmore Cottage, also situated on the Windsor Estate. 

What Could £115,000 Pay for? 

By comparison, £115,000 could pay for the following things: 

  • The average, 4-person UK household gas and electricity bills for 13 years
  • The cost of raising a child to the age of 16 
  • Running a primary school for one year 
  • Paying a nurse’s salary for 3.5 years
  • Paying a teacher’s salary for 4 years 

The Most Instagrammed Royal Properties

According to Instagram, the most frequently snapped royal properties are: 

PropertyNumber of Posts (#)
1Buckingham Palace1,377,285
2Kensington Palace425,156
3Windsor Castle408,829
4Balmoral Castle205,603
5Clarence House32,427
6Dumfries House12,803
7St James’ Palace8311
8The Palace of Holyroodhouse6823
9Hillsborough Castle4923
10Sandringham House4759
11Frogmore Cottage4612
12Ivy Cottage4532
13Wren House4054
14Frogmore House2602
15Anmer Hall2258
16Gatcombe Park1157
17Highgrove House645
18Nottingham Cottage511
19Bagshot Park415
21The Royal Lodge105
23The Castle of Mey40
24The Old Royal Palace of Hatfield36
25Y Bwthyn Bach30
26Thatched House Lodge12
27Craigowan Lodge2

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