State dining room closed at Buckingham Palace over ceiling safety concerns
Buckingham Palace's state dining room has been closed as a precautionary measure following concerns over the safety of its ceiling.
The Queen has been made aware of the issue at her official London residence after the problem was uncovered following a routine survey.
Any official functions due to be held in the room will be moved to alternate rooms and additional investigation work is being carried out.
One of the principal state rooms, the ornate state dining room, is located on the west side of the building and is decorated with dark red flocked wallpaper.
During state visits, guests retire to the dining room for coffee following the banquet in the ballroom, as Chinese president Xi Jinping did last month during his high profile stay.
The Queen also recorded her Christmas message in the room last year.
A palace spokesman said: "As the result of a routine survey, an issue was found with one of the ceiling beams in the roof space of the state dining room.
"Following further assessment, access to the room has been suspended as a precautionary measure while additional investigation work takes place."
Other adjoining rooms such as the ballroom and the picture gallery have not been affected. It is not known how long access to the room will have to be suspended.
Any repairs needed will not be part of the 10-year property maintenance plan which has been drawn up for the famous landmark.
The royal residence is in need of a complete overhaul, including rewiring, updating the plumbing and removal of asbestos.
R oyal sources revealed earlier this year that the Queen may have to move out of the palace to allow the refurbishments, which are estimated to be set to cost £150 million, to take place.