TODAY

TODAY   |  January 28, 2014

Royal family reportedly facing money troubles

A new report claims that Queen Elizabeth is royally strapped, and that the household has spent more money than its allowance. A number of palaces are said to be in disrepair. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> the royal house has fallen into disrepair. its finances are in shambles, and the british government is now telling the royals, stop spending so much money. nbc's michelle kosinski is outside buckingham palace this morning. good morning to you.

>> reporter: hi, savannah. and it has leaked out over the years about the seriously outdated and shabby interior of the palace here. now there are reports about the palaces themselves leaking. staffers putting out buckets as it rains to protect masterpieces, all the while the government says the royal household has been spending way too much.

>> reporter: it is the taxpayer who funds the royal palaces in britain. no small task comprising more than 300 buildings to the tune of more than $51 million last year. none of that may be in the queen's little handbag, but the royal household ended up spending more than that allowance. now a government public accounts committee says their spending above their means is dipping into the reserves. the balance at an all-time low, a balance of about $1.6 million. it was more than 30 times that.

>> i think the treasury and the royal household need to up their act.

>> reporter: a number of palaces are in dangerous or deteriorating conditions. 40% of them below acceptable standards. how does the queen put up with it? well, she's had to, around an $82 million backlog in repairs. the palace says that's because government funding has tightened over the years. now the government says the palace needs to do more to help.

>> possible for the queen to rent out buckingham palace , open up to the general public . well, that is a possibility.

>> reporter: one example, the boiler here at buckingham palace is 60 years old. the officials say that the electricity and heating bills are enormous but there hasn't been enough money to replace it. the government isn't exactly blaming the queen herself. but they do say she has not been well-served by her household staff or the treasury in keeping these expenses in line. and more importantly, they say, protecting these historic buildings . back to you guys.

>> all right. michelle kosinski in london this morning, thank you very much.

>> here's what we do. we get gene chatzky and lou manfredini, send them over.

>> like help line.

>> knock them into line.