Elizabeth II
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Image: Lee J Haywood/Flickr/CC BY-SA

While she is not likely to be filing for public assistance any time soon, even the Queen of England is being forced to tighten her belt because of the economic downturn. Her income will be frozen through at least 2015 as the result of a new law passed by Parliament.

Civil List no more

The funding for Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family has, for the past 251 years, come from a public fund called the Civil List. A law passed six weeks ago by the British Parliament will replace the Civil List with a fund to be called The Sovereign Grant in April, 2013.

Based on Estate performance

The Sovereign Grant will be determined by 15 percent of surplus income generated over two years from the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate is a portfolio of properties including Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and more than half the country’s shoreline.

The royal income will depend on the estate portfolio’s performance in years to come. The Crown Estate properties are valued at more than 7 billion pounds. The British government has been collecting the income from the Crown Estates in exchange for financing the monarchy since 1760.

 Repairs delayed

Part of tightening the royal belt will be delays in repairs to Buckingham Palace as well as fewer public appearances. The royal travel expense had, until now, been funded by the British taxpayers. There will also be no taxpayer funding for Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their staff will be funded by the Prince of Wales.

In 1991-92, the royals received 77.3 million pounds in taxpayer funding. In 2010-11 the family had to squeak by on 32.1 million. This year, the new law will reduce that by about 9 percent, and that will be frozen until at least 2015. It is expected to be extended after that time.

Keeper of the privy purse

Sir Alan Reid, the keeper of the privy purse, told the Daily Telegraph that it will be “very difficult for overall expenditure to fall much further without impacting on the Royal Household’s activities in support of the Queen and the long-term health of the estate.”


The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/8933942/The-Queens-income-frozen-until-2015.html
The Star:  http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1097272
MSNBC: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45555853/ns/today-today_people/#.Tt1Mw2WP-_0


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