Royals' rooms revealed

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PRINCESS Margaret has three bedrooms and four reception rooms at Kensington Palace, while the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester occupy four bedrooms in the same building, it was revealed yesterday.

Despite her home at Thatched House Lodge, in Richmond Park, south-west London, Princess Alexandra has accommodation extending to five bedrooms and four reception rooms at St James's Palace. Also at St James's are the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who have five bedrooms and six reception rooms. This excludes staff quarters.

Answering Parliamentary questions from Alan Williams, MP for Swansea West, Iain Sproat, the National Heritage minister, also disclosed that 46 private secretaries and officials live in grace and favour accommodation at the Royal Palaces.

Other occupants included: 47 domestic servants; 34 stables staff; 13 chauffeurs; 5 fire patrolmen; 13 military knights at Windsor Castle and 27 pensioners. This last figure comprised 23 retired Royal Household employees or their widows and four other people.

The details came the day after a National Audit Office report on the cost of maintaining the palaces. The NAO said it believed the 20m budget was being spent efficiently, but admitted to not being supplied with full information.