Members of the public with deep pockets are being offered a once in a decade chance to buy a box at the Royal Albert Hall next to the Queen for £2.5million (NZ$4.3M).

Harrods Estates is marketing the box at the Grade-I listed venue in Kensington for a price worth more than ten times the price of the average home in England.

The seats are on the same level as the Queen's box and the sale is described as "an extremely rare opportunity" by the estate agent selling it.

Nicholas Shaw, sales manager of Harrods Estates Kensington, said he thought the box would be sold to "true lovers of the arts".


He said: "This Grand Tier box at the Royal Albert Hall is a real generational purchase, and is the first of its kind that is available to buy for almost a decade.

"The box is ideal for entertaining, with its twelve seats, and provides enviable views over the main stage and auditorium.

"We have witnessed these boxes sell previously to the true lovers of the arts and this time should be no different. I anticipate this will sell to a British investor."

A number of ticket agencies are listed as owners of seats including Abbey Leisure and Albermale Booking Agency, in the charity's 2015 annual report.

Richard Lyttelton Lyttelton, who was president of the Royal Albert Hall from 2010 to 2011, told The Telegraph: "Clearly the box should not be sold to anyone who wants to operate it commercially.

"Ownership will, as advertised, include Membership of the charity and 12 votes at an annual general meeting.

"Can it be right that one can buy oneself into governance of a charity from which it is possible to derive personal benefit?"

Mr Lyttelton owns four seats but has never sold of them to third parties, choosing instead to return them to the box office for sale at face value.

In 2017, the Albert Hall will be hosting a series of sought-after events including the Baftas, Titanic Live and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's The Music Of Bond.

In 2011, a five-seat box on the second tier was put up for sale for £550,000. A ten-seat box on the Grand Tier was offered three years earlier for £1.2 million.

A Royal Albert Hall spokesman said: "The seats are private property as set out in the royal charter which established the hall in 1861.

"As such the hall is not able to intervene as the seat holders' rights are enshrined in law."

The Royal Albert Hall is under fire for allowing debenture holders - who own a fifth of the hall's 5,000 seats - to sell on free tickets for large profits, rather than return them to the box office for sale at face value.

A majority of these seat holders also dominate the charity's ruling council, which has raised questions about whether it is being run for the public benefit.

The charity watchdog could now step in and appoint its own trustees if it is not satisfied with the results of a review into its governance by May.

William Shawcross, the Charity Commission's chairman, told The Telegraph last week that the "scale of commercialisation in the private sale of seats [at the hall] raises questions about whether the charity is in fact operating for the public benefit as required by charity law".

The venue has defended the seat owners saying that "the Hall would not have been built, or prospered as a great national charity were it not for the significant financial support and devotion of the Members".

This story was originally published by Daily Telegraph.