The royal finances for the fiscal year 2015-16 have been released. The short version: The Queen‘s income and expenses were up; Prince Charles‘ expenses were down; Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry‘s expenses were up; it now costs “62p per person in the UK” to fund the royals.
During the financial year 2015-16 (ending March 31), the Queen received £40.1 million from the Sovereign Grant (up from £37.9 million the year before). The Queen also received £13.9 million from income generated from property rentals and such. That’s a total of £54 million total income. The total expenditure, including funding the royal family and repairing royal palaces, was £53.7 million.
The Queen spent an extra £4.6 million on much-needed property maintenance this past year – going from £11.7 million in 2014-15 to £16.3 million in 2015-16.
Travel costs were down, though, from £5.1 million in 2014-15 to £4 million in 2015-16. The Queen’s visits to Malta and Germany cost £64,000 and £40,000, respectively. Charles and Camilla’s visit to Malta cost £37,000. Charles and Harry’s visit to Turkey cost £75,000. And Harry’s visits to Lesotho and South Africa and Nepal cost £38,000 and £33,000, respectively. Side note: I can’t wait until next year to find out just how much it cost William and Kate to travel to India and Bhutan.
Helicopter journeys for the royal family, of which there were 221 (including William and Kate’s trips), cost £569,483. The Royal Train also racked up the expenses, costing £600,000 per year to maintain – not including the cost of individual trips. The Queen’s trip from London to Aberdeen cost an extra £20,034 and Charles’ trip from Ayr to Yorkshire to Aberdeen cost an extra £33,249.
Charles saw a rise in income from the Duchy of Cornwall – from £19.845 million in 2014-15 to £20.467 million in 2015-16 – but saw a decrease in income from the Sovereign Grant and Government Departments which put him at a decrease in overall income – from £22.079 million to £21.902 million – and a decrease in official expenditure – from £11.678 million to £10.565 million.
William, Kate, and Harry saw a 9.5% rise in expenditure last year. In fiscal year 2014-15, the funds which cover the official activities of William, Kate, and Harry had a total expense of £2.965 million. In fiscal year 2015-16, the total expense was £3.249 million. Granted, we don’t know just how much of that £3.249 million is actually spent on William, Kate, and Harry since their office is lumped together with other things as “Other expenditure including capital expenditure and transfer to reserves and funding for the official activities of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry” on Charles’ financial report and the expenses are not itemized.
Currently, the amount the Queen receives from the Treasury, known as the Soveriegn Grant, is calculated as 15% of the Crown Estate profits from two years prior. For the current financial year, the Queen will receive £42.8 million, and could receive £45.6 million next year. That’s a 47% jump in income from the £31 million she was given in 2012-13. However, the current fiscal year, 2016-17, is the final year for the existing funding period for the Soverign Grant and the Royal Trustees are set to review the levels of funding. So the Queen may not get as large of an increase in the future, but she will not receive less than the £42.8 million she’s getting this year as the rules state she cannot receive less income than the previous year.
Buckingham Palace said it now costs 62p per citizen of the UK per year to fund the Royal Family – up from 58p last year – based on that £40.1 million Sovereign Grant number. That’s slightly misleading, though, since children aren’t paying taxes and the cost of security for the Royal Family is not included.
You can find the Sovereign Grant report here and Prince Charles’ report here. Other coverage at the Mirror and Telegraph.
PS. William played co-pilot yesterday, June 27 (that’s the day the photo was posted).
Not everyday I see Prince William landing on green at bottom of my Littleport road for @EastAngliAirAmb! @BBCCambs pic.twitter.com/v4HBfg7IZb
— Tom Horn (@tomhorn8) June 27, 2016
Photos: ITV / Twitter embed / Clarence House @ClarenceHouse / Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal / Governor-General of NZ @GovGeneralNZ
139 thoughts on “Royal Finances: Queen’s income rises; William, Kate & Harry’s costs increase”
I am not even going to touch the financial mess. I will say Camilla needs to start slapping Charles on the hand when he sticks his hand in his suit pocket like in the photo above. It is messing up the tailoring.
What’s it like, being handed millions to you every year? Every single year. And the amount can only go up, never down. For nothing more really than being born. William and Kate probably think nothing of it. In fact, they probably think it’s a modest sum compared to their one-percenter friends.
When I think of how hard my parents worked, the belt-tightening, the years of “austerity”, the sacrifices made for their family. And making sure their kids got an education to support themselves, lead productive lives, and contribute to society. Yet they would rather starve or live on the street than accept a handout, much less from the govt. They were selfless, modest. Great parents. The kind of people who would truly earn the respect and admiration of fellow citizens.
William and Kate wouldn’t understand people like us. But it’s their loss.
Ines, I so appreciate what you wrote. I am in total agreement with you. As a child of parents who worked so hard to make sure their kids had the basics and who stressed the importance of education, charity and working hard to make a go of things, I am understanding of your words. It is William and Kate’s loss not to understand those who really do the best they can for themselves and their families. I feel badly that the expenses of W, K, and Harry are lumped together. It would be nice to see what each one of their expenses on its own would be.
I am not British, so I don’t really know how I would feel if my taxes were going to fund some of William and Kate’s lifestyle. Harry, to me, works hard on causes that make a difference . I am not reading enough about his daily existence, but to me, he seems to be earning his keep while making sure others receive the help they need.
I’m so tired today and have to do a job, so out the door I go. Wishing everyone a good day.
Absolutely Ines. Frankly UK wasted their time with a divisive and racially charged Brexit referendum, me thinks. They should have had a referendum on whether keeping these freeloaders is worth it or not! No public servant gets paid this much, esp ones as untalented and unworthy (in every way) like the Windsors! It’s obscene how much UK pays to see William’s balding pate and Kate turning into a physical embodiment of a question mark, each year!
With all due respect that would be an absolute waste of time and money. Every opinion poll result shows at least 75% of public are pro keeping the monarchy. I know the accuracy of polls has taken a bit of a battering over the last 12 months but the margin of error isn’t that great. I cannot see the abolition of the Monachy in my lifetime. Certainly not during the reign of HM and unlikely under King Charles. But the lazies? That’s a whole other question.
Mrs BBV, you are right with those figures of current support. It does depend on the question asked by pollsters, and like the EU referendum, the level of information the public has at its disposal to make an informed judgement.
I think any referendum regarding the future of the monarchy would need a well-researched and accurate public information campaign headed by a non-partisan third group, where both sides of the argument could be dispassionately laid out for people to consider. This is the most respectful approach to UK citizens that I can think of, where empty rhetoric can be jettisoned in favour of proven facts, one way or the other. This would need to include the various pots of money the BRF have access to, and also include undisclosed figures when no information was forthcoming. Asking questions about work done and achievements, the accuracy of the 62p figure, whether the monarchy aids tourism, amounts of public money spent, and where and to whom it goes – in short, accountability and transparency – need to be tested. Such information would go a long way in countering royal profligacy as well as allowing citizens to consider future options eg abolition, reduced funding as per Denmark, separation of capital funds from personal expenses etc.
I also think referenda needs to operate in stages so that people gradually understand the ramifications of any decision made.
I heartily wish a couple of investigative journalists would take this on, and be meticulous in unpacking all. It’s an affrontery to all UK for the Windsors to behave so cravenly. Yes, they are very ordinary and as a group of people so co-dependent on the public teat that they are unfit for anything much.
The tourism angle is easily answered. Every so often, various UK tourism boards publish results of reasons/ places tourists visit the UK.
The royals haven’t been in the top ten reasons/places in the 20yrs i’ve become more aware of these polls.
Only the tower of London breaks that top ten list, and merely because of it’s terrible history and it houses the state jewels, not because it’s a royal palace – most people do not realise that it is a palace, with state apartments used prior to a coronation.
In terms of royal palaces worldwide, none of the British ones break the top five. They squeak in at number ten. The most visited palaces are Versaille, Forbidden city, Alhambra, Hermitage, and various German Palaces.
I would honestly love to visit Buckingham Palace, but it’s only open two months a year. But if/when I do visit London, it will be for the British Museum, not any of the palaces.
I enjoy visiting the UK though royalty has never figured in any plans; there are all manner of people/things to see and experience in cities, smaller towns and the country at large. I doubt people come to the UK on the off-chance they may see royalty. The pageantry would appeal to many, and I guess palaces would appeal to some too, I’m sure, but there seems no substance to the claim that royals bring in huge tourist money.
If the royals put all their tiaras on display, then shut up and take my tourist money!
Mrs.BBV: yes there is high support for the monarchy but that may be due to public apathy and the smoke and mirrors act that the BRF pull with how much they really take from the public purse. It’s likely that non royal watchers and ordinary joe public have not much idea about the BRF beyond the glamour factor.
Let’s see how much of a widespread support there’ll be for the monarchy once the Queen dies and if the Brexit vote causes economic misery over the next few years.
To add to such substantial ideas, if the media aren’t onside, nothing will ever happen. Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Especially now, during such hard times, the BRF comes across as such glaringly obvious anachronisms and wastes of space. They’re gluttons in a fancy package. They pretty well embody the seven deadly sins. Can you imagine how many people would be fed and housed with just that one tiara?
Well said!, Red Tulip!
You are absolutely right!! It truly is their (wasteofspace’s and wimpo’s)loss.I don’t even know your parents but they are my kind of people.
How much can you love & be loyal subjects to some people when all they do are parading expensive clothes, shake hands, smile & wave,
go to charities or events to raise donations & show the occasional sympathetic looks & they get paid thousands of £. The Queen should open her jewel vault & donate her unused tiaras or jewelleries to the poor or at least use them to maintain her palaces & pay for the BRF’s expenditure. Historical artifacts/jewels cannot feed the poor or help the economy when they are just kept or displayed. It’s time the BRF show real sacrifice, be philanthropists instead of just sharing their presence & giving moral support.
Well it seems that for right now Brexit is working in favor for the royals. There is so much furour going on in the news about it, it doesn’t seem that much attention is being paid the increased royal costs. I checked the comments at the Express and for the most part folks are still feeling that the royals are worth the expense.
I have worked in governmental accounting for quite a few years and find it impossible to believe that someone, somewhere is not keeping track of the exact expenses for William, Kate and Harry. Personally, I find it rather disturbing that their expenses are lumped together with capital expenses and transfers to reserves, as one has no bearing on the other. It is this lack of transparency that has gotten the royals in trouble in the past and as usual they don’t appear to be learning their lessons. I am surprised each year that this report comes out that the people aren’t demanding a closer accounting of actual costs, not this vague “line item” nonsense.
Anyhow, thanks for the post KMR, I love these “behind the scenes” posts that you do!!
I wholeheartedly agree, Lauri. A 38% increase to the BRF in 5 years, not adding in the 100 million plus pounds per year for security, and then insulting and misleading the public with the ridiculous mantra that the BRF only costs 62p per person to fund is outrageous. There is such obfuscation that the only conclusion to be reached is that the true costs would be utterly unacceptable. Like you, I find it unbelievable that the BRF does not keep accurate financial records; of course they do, they simply refuse to disclose them. And worse, are enabled to do so. Is this family worth several million pounds of public money a week to maintain? At least Denmark is cutting funding for all minor royals, citing spiralling costs and that would be a first step, as would disentangling personal expenses with capital expenses. As things stand, this is ridiculous and smacks of family greed.
Every time i see that pennies number i see red.
Yeah, there’s a second set of books. It’s criminal.
Is the Royal Family above the law? Are there no consequences? I’ve wondered for some time whether public monies are being squirreled away into private, family accounts for the day when the public refuses to fund them and/or family members are being subsidised from the various pots of money.
Just like politicians they’re above the law.
Everyone’s corrupt in their own way even if I favor the royals over politicians (ie I think Felipe and Letizia are a great asset and prove a monarchy can work if you’re a decent, hardworking person who makes sure the buck stops there and you do your job; however most are lazy petulant whiners… I also like Henri and Maria Teresa).
Charles was initially transparent about WK’s expenditure. However, between the exposure that his expenditure on them is a tax write off and her excessive spending eg spending £65k (?) on 6mths worth of clothing in her first year, the public was very unhappy about it.
The motherlode was her expensive refurbishment of several homes, twice in the case of KP apartment due to mistakes that were blamed on her pregnancy hormones.
To minimise future fallout, and to hide jyst how expensive they are, he has stopped iteming their expenditure.
And there is nothing anyone can do to force him to be transparent because he successfully lobbied parliament to keep his finances out of FOI act and any transparency period.
I can’t think how funding from various publicly-owned pots is either sustainable or desirable. As you say further down, public apathy sees little to no scrutiny, but it is clear that there is deliberate obfuscation from the BRF and the Establishment. I wonder if some investigative journalist will unpack the various pots (as far as possible) to try to hobble together at least some parts of the puzzle, and leaving questions further discussion? Otherwise, it all becomes a sham with selective ‘facts’ revealed and where discussion about royalty’s role and requirements should be revisited and honed rather than a reductive conversation limited to clothing.
A couple of weeks ago I asked KMR if she could at the end of the year break down Kate’s new ‘working clothing’ costs for 2016 for all her engagements, in categories such as QEII’s birthday celebrations, Kate’s charities, tour. The lack of transparency from Charles is the reason why. It would show ‘x’ pounds for ‘y’ engagements. It is up to others to decide whether Kate provides value for money, as Loyal Canadian Subject ponders.
I would also like to know how (or if) minor royals are subsidised or is this out of bounds as well?
I agree that the only way to understand the royal finances and the royals use of public money is through independent investigators such as the free press. The Royals will never admit to profligate spending off the backs of the British taxpayers. And the BRF most likely has additional billions in off shore accounts.
Case in point: After Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross received millions of dollars in public donations which the Red Cross insisted was used to assist victims. Turns out Red Cross management lied. A Propublica investigation was the only way people really knew just how badly the Red Cross mismanaged the funds and created financial windfalls for a bunch of privileged consultants. The victims saw nothing in relief.
I will never accept that the priviledged BRF deserves public financing when physicians, nurses and the rest of the UK citizenry struggle to make a life for themselves. The wellbeing of the BRF is not more important than any other Brit.
I think Wills and Waity are the most egregious example of royals who do not deserve a public trust fund. They have nothing but contempt for the people who support them. Yet they live lavishly and flaunt their wastefulness.
“They have nothing but contempt for the [‘normal’] people who support them. Yet they live lavishly and flaunt their wastefulness” while pretending to be ‘normal’.
I think William, like his grandmother, quite literally believe it is their God given right. A very outdated way of thinking; you’re not in Westeros 😉 anymore – get with the times and not just the ones that suit you.
+1 to you and KMR. I was horrified and shocked at your information on the Red Cross. How do these people sleep at night?! I give to charities I can trust and make sure that every dime goes to the people who need it, but now I don’t know if I can trust any of them aside from the Rescue Missions. Billy and Cathy are greedy and utterly totally oblivious to ‘real life’.
Not a lot of people realise that some charities use contracted outside companies to fund raise for them. These companies do charge a fee so not all the money raised goes to the charity. I’ve heard of charities only getting 40-50 cents of every dollar raised.
Before donating I always check how much of my donation will go to the charity concerned, if it’s not 100% then I move on.
I know someone on Royal Dish has been itemizing and counting Kate’s expenses insofar as clothes and jewelry she’s debuted.
I can’t wait to see how much that wasteful tour of India cost the people of India. Ugh.
As you all know I do like Charles but this sort of thing annoys me. If you’re living off the public in any fashion it should all be transparent. You’re not special and exempt from that. But it’s to protect Waity from criticism of course, but we know how wastefully she spends.
As if she is going to wear the “boho chic” style of clothes that she considered to tbe “Indian” ever again . . . .LOL. I have friends from the Sub-continent and they were insulted at her interpretation of what an Indian woman wears
Why be sneaky unless you have something to hide? They’re so entitled they have no shame. I see no difference between them and mafia families
The level of entitlement is so great that fudging accounts doesn’t concern them a jot. I agree: if all was above board there would be no problem in detailing expenditure. ‘The Firm’ looks after itself, that’s for sure! I wonder if FOI exemption can be rescinded if it is in the public interest?
MavenTheFirst, I have referred to the ‘firm’ many times as the ‘British Mafia’ and it absolutely fits. I don’t see any difference myself, and all the jewels and fancy duds can’t change it. I agree with your post 100%.
Thanks KMR, this is the exclamation point on why we hammer on K&W (1) doing so little (2) doing the little like a mannequin. They are the chosen to keep receiving money with Charles’ changes on the horizon, so they’ve got to be worth it. In the short term, Brexit is going to have everyone tightening their belts even more. If our fair Katie and Slug Boy continue to use expensive helicopter rides and 30 min visits (or no visits) I predict a King Harry may not stay a pleasant talking point and become a reality.
Regardless of one’s opinion about Brexit, I think we can all agree that the outcome reveals a rebellion against the status quo. The monarchy should take note.
Lyme, that’s a very cogent point. Those thriving were impervious to those living lives of real hardship, and in some instances, were quite put out that their authority was threatened by the decision. I haven’t a horse in the race, though it is plain to see that people will exercise their power as we have seen.
Sadly, I don’t feel that the Cambridges offer a good return on investment. Reading an article like this reinforces to me that no matter how much they profess to leading “normal” lives, there is absolutely nothing “normal” about receiving millions of dollars every year for doing practically nothing but living in a 10 bedroom country house, palace in the city, taking luxury vacations and showing up for “work” just a few days a month. The Cambridges need to grow up and accept that so long as they are on the receiving end of public funds, their “normal” is a life of duty and service to the country – and they need to be doing more.
And no public servant should be paid this much, even if Baldy and Scarecrow decide to work their lazy bones off all of a sudden! Their disrespect of the public money and spending has me very angry! Why should your average hardworking person be called upon to do more with less while these guys do less but keep receiving more!
Red Tulip: “…even if Baldy and Scarecrow decide to work their lazy bones off all of a sudden!”
LOL, I can’t stop laughing. What a very apt description of those two who think they are above all others. I often wonder whether waity realizes that she is a laughing stock to other people? I do pity waity because she does not have an identity of her own. Without William Kate is a nobody.
The sovereign grant is only one funding stream of many of the royals. Whilst we know about security, other funding streams are not known eg transport dept actually picks up alot of royal travel expenses on top of that included in the sovereign grant.
The costs of royal visits to various counties are paid from local council budgets.
The clothing/grooming of the royals on official engagement is a tax deductible.
Etc etc and so on.
There are also reserve funds that technically are supposed to be used only in energencies, but HM has raided them so often that she periodically goes to the govt to gave them topped up which always leads to headlines about the queen running out of money. Those headlines are misleading because they do not point out why suvh a fund exists in the first place or why it has to be topped out.
The final ergregious point to make about the royal taxpayer money is that when George 3 handed over the crown estates’s management, he agreed to the reciprical funding on condition that the royals can’t receive less in any year than was received the previous year, no matter the state of the economy.
The Queen agreed the sovereign grant to be 15% of the crown estates, so if they do well, she gets that money. If the estates are doing very well, then she gets more. However, if the estates do not do well, no adjustment is made to reflect the reduced profits because she can never receive less.
In previous years when the govt managed to freeze her money, that was when she made a real effort to save because even though she was being paid the same money every year for a few years thus keeping the rule about not paying less, she was receiving less because inflation was rising and she was forced to economise.
These days, since the crown estates are doing so well, she’s receiving more money every year.
It is ergregious to the nth degree that the Palace keeps peddling the lie about pennies when the equation they use is obviously and glaringly wrong.
And that’s before you point out that the Sovereign grant is only one of several taxpayer funding pots the royals use.
And it is really sad that the public aren’t educated about this or educate themselves about it.
The royals depend on that apathy.
Thank you Herazeus! The Sovereign Grant does not include the majority of costs of the royals, especially security, which are estimated at £400 million a year.
The lack of transparency means things like a couple million spent on the “private” residence of Anmer Hall and million+ in security upgrades at the Middleton’s private residence are hidden. Hell, just the front security door at the Wales 4 bedroom rental was $1 million.
How much of the security at Sandringham and Balmoral (“privately-owned”) is foisted off on the taxpayers? I’m betting all of it.
Does the queen give Andrew and Edward a flat salary or do they get paid per event? I guess I just want to know how they make/get their money. I find it appealing that they are exempt from the FOI!!
62p. Right, that’s plus the “blank” amount that comes off this that and the other thing. I’m not British, so tell me- can one even get a coffee for 62p? It sounds like a figure someone got paid to put an awful lot of thought into, to least offend the British taxpayers. Because who in their right mind would argue with 62p/person? It’s next to nothing! So not a big deal at all! Huh, I’d believe it if they said 62p/day for each person. That makes more sense to me, judging by the numbers the Firm is putting up.
62p is a lie. You don’t have to have specialist knowledge to see why it’s a lie. Here is why.
1. BP releases information about royal funding from ONLY one pot. No need to bother the public with the other pots of funding.
2. To be fair, some people may not be aware that it’s only one of several pots that funds the royals, so let’s look closer at how they come to this 62p.
The equation specifically mentions millions PER person.
That means the denominator is every single person in the UK, whether they pay tax or not, whether they are employed or not, whether they are in perfect health or not, retired, OAPs, homeless, mentally or physically unwell, children, babies and teens and every other human person on this tiny island. An avoidable tax paid by everyone from the year they are born until they die.
Dividing 15% by the much bigger sum total people of the UK, the answer will be in pennies.
If you restrict that denominator to ONLY taxpaying public as it should be, the figure rises to between £5 – £10. And it is still an unavoidable tax, but only thw working, taxpaying public pay it, not the entire population as BP keeps pretending is the case.
If BP wants to include the entire population, they should extrapolate the truer figure to entire population then the figure might be a truer estimation of how much the royals are paid.
And if you think about it, the Sovereign grant is taken from the crown estates which were originally set up to pay for instrument of govt. Does this mean the other 85% is also split into 15% chunks to pay for the other depts eg Judiciary, parliament, NHS, Police, public services, army etc? Yet the royals continue to dip in other dept despite their ringfenced 15%.
The Sovereign Grant is taken from the Treasury. The Sovereign Grant is based on 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate from two years prior, but it’s not actually taken from the Crown Estate itself.
The Crown Estates was set up up to pay for instrument of govt. That includes royals. The deal that was struck with George 3, which is still the same today as it was then, was that all the crown Estate profits would flow into the treasury who would pay all George 3’s expenses. What became known as the civil list. Later that civil list became the Sovereign grant.
It has always been paid in arears, but it is linked directly to the profits of the crown estates, which is why she receives more money when the estates do well.
Just because cheque is written by Treasury, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming from the Crown Estates.
The govt fudges the issue in such a way that people then forget the direct link between the 2 things, as if the Crown estates are a separate entity from the treasury.
And it is this misinformation that makes people believe the crown estates belonged to the royals at one time and or the treasury is making an extra carving of taxmoney to pay the Sovereign grant.
I’m not going to pretend I know a great detail about British government/funding, so I won’t argue with you, but someone needs to tell this to the Crown Estates website so they can change their information: http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/news-and-media/myth-busting/#sovereigngrant
KMR: that part of their mythbusting page doesn’t actually refute 15% statement or that it is paid in arears. Unlike the other myths they set out to burst.
The history page starts with a comment that the estates were created by an act of parliament.
No more information. If you weren’t curious, that would be the end of the matter.
A simple search elsewhere gives much more information.
That crown estates page used to give much more information, in line with other sources, but i guess they’ve decided it’s better to concentrate on the present and what it does in the present than on the past.
Further, when the Sovereign grant was being discussed, the discussions were put up on the govt parliametary pages, which repeatedly outline why the Sovereign grant was being created, where the money was coming from and why the sovereign grant was replacing the civil list. The method of payment hasn’t changed. The civil list was always paid in arrears, and always came directly from the treasury from funds taken from crown estates profits per the original agreement with George 3. What changed was the 15% line in the sand as opposed to Queen presenting Treasury with a list of expenses and being reinbursed for them.
Sovereign grant was thought to be a much better way to deal with the Queen’s expenses and was result of many parliamentary discussions with the royalhousehold. The Civil list was thought to be messy and without proper accounting.
Sounds like it’s time to throw some tea into the harbor.
Thank you for this KMR. I do wish the money was made available to fix Buckingham Palace. I believe there are holes in the roof, dangerous asbestos, bad wiring and Princess Anne was nearly hit by falling masonry that had decayed. As the ‘home’ of the Monarchy it should not be in such disrepair whilst the Cambridges have spent untold millions on two lavishly renovated homes, travel by helicopter at whim etc…
I think it’s utter BS that W&K got millions to renovate their home and BP is still in such bad repair. BP should come before Kate needing multiple kitchens and a new coat of paint because the beige she picked turned out purple.
Did Kate employ the services of a professional designer to develop both KP and Anmer Hall? If so, that person would not have confused colours et al; more than likely, Kate decided she knew best and over-rode suggestions with the resulting expensive re-do. The cost should have been absorbed by Charles, even though it comes out of public coffers in the end.
Why aren’t repairs done to BP, as a state-owned resource, through the requisite public agency?
I’m guessing the queen doesn’t care that much for BP so if it falls to pieces it’s not her problem.
There is a buildings fund. And HM keeps raiding it to pay for her personal or family personal homes. The money that was used to refurbish WK’s homes had actually been earmarked to start the long delayed refurbishment of BP, but WK did a bait and switch on HM who thiught they wouls start working full time, and went as far as publicly justifying the diversion of funds accordingly.
Every year for about 30yrs, there has been a quaint story about tge the state of BP and each time it’s made clear that HM has been told of the problem and she’s promised to do something about the problem and every year nothing has happened or money has bern diverted for seemingly plausible reasons when close examination shows that she’s diverted the money to personal family members or other costs and gradually over time the problem of BP is reaching crisis point. Yet who is surprised by this? The woman never dies anything until it’s at crisis point.
It will be a problem for Charles to handle. I think he will as he isn’t like his mother in that way but it will be a terrible thing to deal with for everyone. I cannot imagine how much it will cost for all the necessary repairs, wiring, etc. Had HM kept it up as she should have AS MONARCH and HEAD OF STATE we wouldn’t be having this conversation but because she just does as she pleases with it–as you said, giving it to W&K, I’m seeing red!–she’ll just hold off until it’s absolutely necessary or she kicks it and makes it Charles’s problem.
I’m curious to see if BP will remain open all year round and made into a sort of hub for offices and functions under Charles. I think that’s a far better use of the place. And I think he’d take better care of it than his mother has. (William will just not care about anything, of course, and live in his ivory tower forcing Harry to be the public face of things.)
She’s not been much of a steward, has she?
Ever since she first ignored the public’s reaction to Diana’s death, I’ve been struck by how oblivious she seems to be to everything around her. She is very much in her own world. Like Maven posted below, these are very ordinary people.
I think it’s just her personality. Not wrong or right, it’s how she is: stick her head in the sand until it is too much and she must.
I think in some ways she has been a good monarch in the sense of her sense of duty and how she will never waver from it, how it must have been so difficult at 25–but Maven, definitely not a good steward of what she has been given. I always wonder why. Her personality? Being oblivious and entitled? I don’t think she is a bad person, but I don’t think she deserves all the accolades and worship thrown her way. Her sense of duty is admirable, of course it is, but how she has handled other things you should look and see that is what not to do.
This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion but here goes.
Based on articles from various sources everyone seems quick to applaud her sense of duty and just leaves it as that.
But what is her actual duty? And how has that role changed, in keeping with an ever changing world, over her reign? Does she have a set of deliverables, targets or key performance areas, like the rest of us do?
Yes, she keeps up appearances, rides in carriages and waves at people. In that sense, duty fulfilled. But is that it?
As the keeper of historic items or places of interest, doesn’t her duty extend to looking after or mainitaing them? In the case of Buckingham Palace, clearly she is not delivering.
What about her duty to the monarchy itself? For the sake of continuity and presenting a good image/investment case, shouldn’t she order key members to earn their keep, groom future generations and ensure that they present a united front (instead of allowing Harry and the York girls to be thrown under buse in order to enhance the Cambridges image)? Also, part of being a good leader and running any successful entity, is recognisinsing when to let go and then doing it with grace. How can we praise her for reigning for such a long time in one breath and then criticise politicians for wanting three or more terms in office in the other?
The monarch is supposed to be a ceremonial figurehead only. So what documents are in those red boxes? Like, the need for her to sign things into law, are those documents just extended to her as a courtesy due to historical reasons? In that case can any other citizen – one that actually has the power to vote – request those documents from government as well?
If we consider the monarchy as a company, she would be CEO wouldn’t she? And the British public, as the money behind the company, would be shareholders. CEOs have fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders to manage the company’s operations, staff, governance and finances well – not to mention maximizing returns in a lawful, transparent manner. Is this the case? Judging by the behavior of certain family members, no. But to be fair, we simply don’t have sufficient, adequate data to make that call.
(It is probably also worth mentioning that successful publicly-listed that have passed through generations of families – with suitably qualified heirs in key management roles – do exist. Also, why shouldn’t we consider the monarchy as a company.? If charities, that people willingly contribute to, are expected to publish annual reports and comprehensive financials just like companies, why shouldn’t the publically funded monarchy?
From what I understand, reading the above mentioned posts on how the monarch’s funds can either remain consistent or increase but never decrease, clearly the concept of performance based appraisals or bonuses are a foreign concept to that family. Realistically speaking, does anyone actually have the power to hold them accountable? How? Are there any consequences if they fail to deliver? If not, what’s the point of them anyway?
Why not just give the useless members the boot and then train promising members to take on roles in the diplomatic corps or civil service and pay them as such?
Em: a great comment.
Sadly, the queen has joined Charles in keeping her position and her finances as opaque as possible beyond the minimum requested for public consumption ie the Sovereign Grant.
She was very active in making sure she and Charles were exempted from the FOI.
When it comes to finanacial, we can never know for sure, BUT based on her actions in this area, if the govt can pay for it, that is her preferred route. She sees this as entitlement….see the Windsor fire snuffu which resulted in her being forced to finally pay tax, something she hadn’t done before and despite rationing, several recessions and poverty of her subjects, had never volunteered to do so, unlike those very same subjects.
You ask excellent questions, Em, as well as make great observations.
I’ve often thought that one of the reasons the Queen stays on the throne is because she knows that her personal popularity keeps the monarchy going, as well as knowing that Charles is not universally liked. Of course, giving up the job would be traumatic for one who has held the position for so long. But there is a selfishness wrapped up in ‘serving the nation’ mantra too. I agree with you that the BRF needs to be held to standards required of individuals/institutions receiving public funds. It’s all too loose and unaccountable. And no-one dares question ‘granny’ which hamstrings any opposition to the monarchy; they look mean to an old lady, even if she is a canny old one.
The Queen has some gall in dipping into funds earmarked for state-owned palaces, directing those funds to her personal properties. Why is this not exposed? Why is there no deductions made from future grants, regardless of what has been agreed to? She seems to have broken the agreement anyway, in just pilfering from the public purse.
If Charles decides to turn it into offices and a museum, as has been hinted, he’ll foist all of the expensive, long-put-off repairs on the taxpayers.
I read the article very fast with no much attention (I am exhausted after a week of oral exams) so sorry if what I said is bad or stupid, or if I don’t make any sense… But what is the source of these numbers : it is a release from BP if I understand well. Is there an independant organism which verify these numbers or not? Because if is not the case, why prooves that it is the truth?
Anyway I laugh internally when I read that there is private palaces, private money…
I find it funny that every time the public starts to wonder about William playing with helicopters, oh sorry, William’s job, a picture of him working magically appears…..
Yeah, they must be getting worried again.
I know, right. People were just questioning here in the comments whether William was still doing that job and when the last time he was there was, and a few days later there’s suddenly a photo of him on the job.
And now the picture comes out of Baldy playing with hellies, right when the finances info gets released too. The smoke and mirrors game played by the BRF make me sick. They do all this to justify their greed. Frankly, I can’t wait for the dirt on Queenie coming out once she dies- I am sure there’ll be a lots and lots and lots of it.
I’m with you, Tulip. I want the dirt. Just the spending of these parasitic wastrels is sick, such a corrupted bunch. I’m surprised not much has leaked over the years. I want more than rumours. I think it’s time.
The mind boggles. 33,000 BP for a train ride?
If I might relate an anecdote – A dear London friend of mine was interviewed recently on BBC radio on the occasion of her having gone back to university and earning a master’s degree in Shakespearean theater at the age of 93. At the end of the interview, the host mentioned that the next day was the Queen’s birthday and he hoped she wasn’t a republican. I thought, “Uh-oh!”, knowing that she is, most firmly. She finessed it by saying that indeed she was, but that the Queen is a wonderful actress. To that I’ll now add, a highly paid one 🙂
I like your friend – witty, intelligent and very dry. Hope the interviewer got it.
LOL! That’s a fantastic response!
Man, that’s brilliant.
Jen, I had never thought in those terms before but I’m on the absolutely brilliant comment train, and I’m not running up a huge bill for it:) Highly paid indeed!!
I never realised how ordinary they look, how ordinary they are. Just a bunch of everyday human beings being supported in obscene luxury and doing very little work. Of all things, I’m just rocked by the cost of travel- over a million dollars. And security isn’t even factored in.
It’s obscene, they don’t deserve it and it’s time for them to leave. I hope someone knows enough to turn off the lights. I don’t think I can stomach them any longer after such a through breakdown by KMR. Abomination. Meanwhile, the kingdom burns.
+ 1 to infinity.
Hasn’t it always be like that though? During both WW. In the 19th century and so forth. The people always suffered and the royals always prospered no matter what.
One thing I am sure of, Kate’s expenditures this year were way up. Although she’s been dipping into her 2011 wardrobe lately, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t slowed down on her shopping and will be debuting new/old looks in the future.
They need to break it down between William/Kate and Harry. I can’t see Harry’s expenses being as much as theirs. I’m sure staff is included in all of this but really.
Does Harry have household staff in his KP abode? I’m assuming Sentebale and Invictus activities factor in (travel, etc) but I can’t see how his expenditure would be anywhere near the Cambridge’s. It’s just another way to deny clarity of who’s spending what.
I think Harry probably would have a housekeeper but not permanently, someone who would help him out but isn’t there on staff as W&K’s housekeepers are. Nottingham Cottage is only 2-3 bedrooms and a house on the grounds attached to other housing, not a grand vast apartment that needs multiple kitchens. 😛
That and Harry has his own fortune and money so I can’t see him dipping into the public purse AS MUCH as the Cambridges do.
Kate’s spending is out of control and this we know by seeing how many $10k dresses and $50k pairs of earrings she’s bought. Trying to lessen the slap in the face by then re-wearing older items… Ha. People see through it, Waity.
Hmm, suddenly Willy’s ‘working’ and Waity’s wearing old clothes that are 11 years old. Just before the accounts came out. Hmmmm.
Where did this 62p number come from? I couldn’t find it mentioned anywhere but in the newspapers. Just curious – I did read the entire 83 page Sovereign Grant document.
I sort of took a different approach and took the £40m SG, added *£103m for security, £30m for places that could be rented out if you threw out the Royals that live there and decided to round it up to an extra £150m – nah, make it £160m. So let’s assume the Queen costs you guys £200m. *Those figures come from a publication “Royal Expenses” from republic.org.uk (2015 figures).
Now for a per person number, how about everybody that was registered to vote last week? I found a figure of 46.5m tossed around. We can assume they are over 18 and perhaps have a job and pay some sort of taxes. Best I could come up with 🙂
So the cost per person using this method is £4.30 – sound more realistic to you?
P.S. One more annoying tidbit – “The Sovereign Grant meets the cost of official journeys undertaken by or in support of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. Travel by The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge between residences is categorised as official.” Wow, that’s just all kinds of wrong. For all of them actually.
So basically William and Kate are brushing off their helicopter trips between London and Anmer as “official”. That just sucks. No wonder they don’t look the least bit remorseful when they are striding towards their taxi.
And one has to wonder why Scarecrow looks so exhausted and anxious then,? She’s got taxpayer funded helicopter rides and luxury clothes on the regular and she still looks unhappy! Greedy, selfish and ungrateful woman!
So, in effect, over a third of a billion dollars (Canadian) is going to the upkeep of 7 little people and their hangers on. Over a third of a *billion* dollars, per year, and increasing every year by an obscene percentage.
Travel between residences being ‘official’ only adds insult to injury. All on the people’s dime. The bloody nerve. They answer to no one.
This means Willy can hop from polo to a horse show with the fam and back again to party all on the same day with impunity because it’s ‘official’ travel?
As a minimum, that sounds about right.
Don’t forget the voting public includes people who for various reasons do not or can’t work.
If we are generous and deduct a third of the 46M voters, and increase your figure of £4.30 by a third, we would be closer to the actual cost.
Even if they don’t work, they still pay some sort of tax (VAT), don’t they? It is estimated that people pay between 5 and 10% of their disposable income on VAT.
Don’t mind me – I’m having my own US taxpayer snit.
Nice work if you can get it, is what I have to say to the BRF.
I don’t have an issue with royalty but as KMR and other posters have said it’s the tricks they use to keep the cash flowing that is problematic. There is absolutely no oversight on what they do. And I will always blame HM for that.
She is the head of this Firm and she allowed her family to benefit from it despite that most are not working royal.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent lived for decades in KP and paid peanuts as rent because HM allowed them.
Andrew abuses his status by frequenting shady friends.
William and Kate work whenever they want, which means never.
And what did HM do? She rewarded them. Andrew was promoted, W&K were given mansions and palaces and when their faults were too obvious to hide, she covered for them.
For a while I believed HM was forced to side with her family when the public/press would be angry at her kids or grandkids because family is family.
But nothing forced her to reward them. So she actually doesn’t care about what we think.
I keep reading that she is a modern Queen who tweets and is aware of the world changing. The truth is, she lives like in Downton Abbey. Surrounded by butlers and footmen and house maids and ladies in waiting. She has no concern of people in UK suffering as long as she is worshipped.
She spent her 60+ years as a head of state making sure the gravy train never stopped for her and her family.
Very well said, Maya. The queen is all about her position and not her subjects. The people are merely the set piece for queening.
The scales really fell from my eyes after this latest extravagant round of celebrating herself.
I mean, all monarchs celebrate themselves for jubilees and major birthdays.
Yes, but did she have to celebrate herself multiple times?
90 is a very big birthday. I can understand why there were multiple celebrations for it. If she were 30 and having that many large celebrations then I’d question the point. But 90 is a big milestone.
Margrethe of Denmark does this every birthday. 70, 75, she does all sorts of big crazy things. Multiple fancy dinners, operas, blah-blah-blah. This is nothin’.
Yes, Margrethe does big events for her birthdays. The Norwegians are currently doing lots of events for Harald’s 25th Jubilee. Carl Gustaf did events for his birthday. For the European royals, almost all of them include a big tiara event for their celebrations. QEII doesn’t.
Yes, 90 is a big birthday. I could understand and support a raft of street parties funded from the royal purse (via the taxpayer) throughout the UK, and which celebrated the lives of UK’s older citizens as special local guests to such parties. If all events attracted funds that could be passed onto charities, all to the good.
You know the one thing that really bothers me about the whole thing is that PC has done an amazing job of building his portfolio which will eventually go to William (and Kate). They (mainly Kate and the Midds) will piss it all away on whatever. You think Kate spends outrageous amounts of money on clothing now, just wait.
William couldn’t be bothered to finish his bespoke course at Cambridge on management and he’s too hard headed to listen to people who know what to do so I foresee the Duchy taking a nose dive unless people just flat out ignore him and run it themselves. Charles is very hands on, can you imagine William visiting the tenants of the properties???
I see this massive hoarding of funds by William which will then be spent by Kate while William then holds out his hands for more. I hope George takes an interest in finances because he’s going to have a huge mess to untangle if he manages to inherit any of it.
I think William and Kate will spend even more outrageously once they are handed the Duchy. Unless there’s a government review of royal spending overall… Using Charles’s plan to downsize the working monarchy, perhaps an opportunity to review all aspects might present itself – I mean, does Charles really expect to have a Sovereign Grant as large as it is now to support even less royals? I suspect there has been hoarding of funds for quite some time by the BRF in general, particularly if they’ve been dipping into other than allocated funds to maintain/ renovate personal properties. William has no staying power; he has a pattern of losing interest when it comes to putting in the hard yards. Pity the British forced to fund this lot.
Charles has put forward the (to me) outrageous suggestion that personal ownership of the Crown Estate be given to him. Then he’ll pay for things out of that instead of a Sovereign Grant.
While he does some things well, he is exceptionally good at getting-and-making money for himself – while making it look like it is always in the public good.
I also find it outrageous that a publicly owned, money-making resource is being mooted to be transferred to a private individual. Talk about bare-faced gall! Has this been quashed?
While there is a monarchy in place, perhaps the government should give the BRF the money it says it earns from citizens – the 62p x population – from which they have to fund every bloody thing: security, transport, living expenses, the lot. And not a penny more. No pots of money to be dipped into – they should be hidden and locked away. It’s perfectly logical and they can’t complain because they have stated the cost: 62p x population.
What is your opinion on why William can’t see things through? Is it because he father and the rest of the BRF indulged him so much after the death of his mother? As the years have gone on, he appears to me to be more petulant and self-indulgent than the year before. IMO, William lacks what it takes to be King, and that albatross he is married to seems incapable of being the stronger partner or the rudder of the ship and guide him in the right direction in terms of his responsibility to what will be his subjects one day. I believe that if he had married a woman of his own class – and by that I do not just mean a girl coming from a wealthy family – I mean a woman from noble circles who understood the monarchy and the duties necessary to be part of The Firm, things would be very different today. I believe a woman in royal circles would have been a helpmeet to William, rather than just a senseless gold digger. As some here have observed, I don’t even think William would have married Waity if Diana had lived. She would have seen right through the con job the Middletons were intent on putting on Wills in an attempt to bag the ultimate prize. (Some prize he turned out to be!)
I think part of it is because he was coddled a bit too much and no one stood up to him and told him to finish what he started. Also, although they want the world to believe he’s so very smart (university educated and all) reality is he’s probably just average at best. He bores easily and is used to having things done for him and handed to him.
Work rubs him the wrong way. Just finishing his training for his current “job” took months longer than it should have. He can’t use the excuse that he was busy doing royal things because he wasn’t. He also wasn’t working any other job at the time. I think he’s just very lazy, very focused on himself above all others and doesn’t want to put forth the effort.
It’s interesting that you point out that he is no great intellectual because none of the BRF are known for being very bright. If they had to run a real “firm”, it would have gone under a long time ago.
Lisa S., that’s why I pointed it out. A big deal was made of his university degree and from what we’ve heard he basically slept through most of the courses if he attended at all.
I think Charles is far smarter and more intellectual that William ever will be, but I think he also works at learning what he can about the things he loves and is attached to.
I agree with you both, Lisa S and Lisa. William was clearly a difficult child: over-indulged, with no boundaries and no understanding of noblesse oblige. Despite William’s bullying and rudeness, Charles and Diana thought his behaviour charming.
A big part of the problem is the constant fawning by others, making allowances for William, flattering beyond his abilities and lauding him for achievements that he has not really earned. People do that because they are in awe of royalty or want a connection, or something. William doesn’t stick to things because he is used to having the way paved for him or made easier, so when it gets hard eg flying in the RAF, university, the Cambridge course, he’s not prepared to put in the work. Or feels unable/overwhelmed to do so? Nothing is on the line for him whereas we have to work hard to keep our jobs, earn our degrees and so on because there isn’t a safety net for us.
I think it is an awful state to be in: all that is left is tinkering at the edges, feeling entitled, not knowing how to achieve anything, being protected from life. William was unwise to marry Kate, not because she was middle class, but because she’s not a woman with sufficient pluck and humility to get stuck in and do. She is an albatross around his neck, and he around hers; they are too similar and bring out the worst in each other.
What a sad waste of lives, me thinks.
But that’s the reason William married her – she lets him do as he pleases, will crawl back to him no matter what as evidenced during the dating years. he would never WANT a woman with pluck. She’d tell him no and he can’t abide that. IMO Kate was his way of sticking it to his family. I’m going to do what I want! And she’ll stay and let me do it and you guys can do nothing! As evidenced by HM and Charles only knowing about the engagement TWO HOURS before the presser.
HM was told AFTER the press conference was scheduled. The rest of them found out about it during their regular work throughout the day.
Well, that says it all, doesn’t it? An engagement is usually a joyous occasion to be shared with family. That William employed such sly tactics says a lot about his relationship with his family, their opinion of Kate, but also that he knew Kate was not quite the ticket either. Sad.
I often wonder what condition the monarchy will be in in 50-100 years. Will they continue with their lavish way of life at the expense of others, or will what remains of them be untitled and forced to live off their own money. I won’t be around then, but it should be very interesting from a historical standpoint. What do those here think?
I’ve been a fan of the BRF eversince the Queen visited my country in 1972. I always looked at them through tinted glasses & even though I read that other royal families around the world were parasites, living off their subjects’ money, I was sure that the BRF were not like that. Unfortunately they are all the same. If there are no radical changes in their financial situations & way of life, I think there won’t be any royal institutions in UK. They would be like the deposed monarchs of Greece, Portugal, Romania,etc. The sad fact is that the BRF thinks this will never happen ‘cos they have survived this long being parasites & fooling their subjects into loving them. But will the Govt & people be strong enough to confront them & knock them off their pedestals?!
Thank you, Ida. I believe you are right.
While it is ultimately the choice of the UK people, I can’t see the monarchy surviving. It seems likely that Scotland will become independent at some point; Wales too. That collapses the kingdom, so what point a monarchy of a divided nation? Commonwealth countries will seek to ditch the monarch after QEII dies; that much is clear and understood. The Brexit vote is complex to unwrap but part of the problem was that Westminster failed to adequately address the concerns of a large number of people, in effect, ceasing to represent them. The status quo was successfully challenged and it is not a huge jump to think at some point, and particularly if economic conditions worsen, that fingers will be (rightfully) pointed in the direction of the BRF.
Ida makes some great points. I don’t know who will have the gumption to sort through all the royal finances and spending, but it must be done. It is absurd to think that a hugely wealthy family needs supporting by anyone, let alone millions of people.
Occassionally the govt and people have stood up to this family.
Diana and Charles’s wedding took place in the middle of an appalling recession and an economy so bad that Britain was receiving funds from the IMF. Anyone who has ever lived in a country supported by the IMF will tell you how awful life can be. IMF impose and enforce cuts with an iron fist. No pandering to social welfare programmes.
Their wedding was sold as an anecdote to a terrible everyday life. Much like the Queen’s own wedding was sold as an anecdote to recent war and ongoing recovery. And in that situation, whilst the rest of the country was making do and mending, and suffering the horrors of rationing, the Queen had a lavish wedding with all the trimmings, but as long as her public sent her their ration coupons, which they did, enabling her to have her lavish wedding, who gives a toss!?!
As long as i could remember in the 80s, people would grumble about the fact that the queen and the royals paid no tax, all the while maintaining their status quo.
Eventually the people and the govt got their moment to stick it to the Queen, albight a small chance.
Windsor Castle caught fire causing several millions’ worth of damage. Queen turns to the govt to ask for a handout to repair it, govt initially refused. The cheek of it when we were going through another recession.
Longstory short, the govt relented on condition she and the family start paying tax, all the royals start paying for their accomodation in the palaces and at market rates, opening up BP and Windsor to the paying public to raise maintenance costs, economising on transport – that’s when she started taking a regular train rather than using the royal train, and also opeining up Balmoral and Sandrigham like other aristos with estates to maintain.
And definitely no new yacht. Britannia’s service life was drawing to a close around the same time, and govt vetoed giving her a new one. She actually cried when Britannia was decommissioned a few years later to much mockery.
And the next time the public showed their displeasure was Diana’s funeral.
Every time she’s been denied, she has done what is needed to survive, but also shown that she can adapt and be more proactive, but only enough to maintain the status quo.
If she were challanged more, i believe we’d see a better Queen and family.
That goes for Charles too. He always had better instincts than his mother, but in some respects, it took the challenge of the public adoring Diana and her way of being royal for him to adapt.
Thanks, Herezeus, for that overview. The pattern you have described is not good: both parties – royals and the state – simply react to each other in extreme circumstances rather than consciously designing/updating/retiring the role, responsibilities and funding. Added to that, the Queen seems to be oblivious to how people actually live in recession after recession, indicating that she does not care and simply wants what she wants. Your examples are shocking in the baldness of the air of entitlement that exists.
It would take a determined government to overhaul the current arrangements, separating, for example, repairs of state-owned building from personal family upkeep, as well as insisting that the lids of various pots are off-limits to the monarchy. It is possible to forensically disentangle the very deliberate obfuscation of finances into clear categories where figures cannot be enabled to lie. For example, significant state events such as TofC can be categorised with costs involved eg security, venue costs, transport etc (and who is billed for those tasks, such as local councils, police and so on). That enables a picture to emerge of true costs to the public. And similarly with charity engagements where costs picked up by local councils are noted. At present, it is difficult – by deliberate design – to pull together everything into one, clear document of information. If, say, Harry’s concert the other night as a recent example, raises 1,000 pounds but costs the public 20,000 pounds to stage (security, staging, flights etc), questions need to be asked.
While I do not believe everything boils down to money, it nevertheless is a tool through which to evaluate effectiveness and best use of state resources. It moves the rhetoric of ‘patriotism’ to one side. The resolve to address royal costs does not appear to be there during the Queen’s lifetime and I suspect the Windsors know that moves will be made upon her death. I think this is why moves were made for Charles to take ownership of the Duchy of Cornwall, and to be immune from the FOI. Given the accounts of dipping into pots of money beyond their allocated entitlements, I would also posit that (a) monies are being directed to family members who may not be entitled to such, and/or (b) entitlements are being hoarded.
I’ve often prefaced any remarks about costs with whether the UK people want to retain, reduce, retire its monarchy. It should be up to them to decide. I would suggest a series of binding plebiscites accompanied by a non-partisan public information campaign so that whatever decision is made is a result of informed, rigorous public debate. I also think this contract between the state and a private family be up for negotiation and appraisal at various intervals, say, ten years, with a process in place for non-messy withdrawal from the public teat and public estates. And no severance pay!
I think major changes will only happen after the Queen’s death. Maybe the Govt will retire Charles & since his successor is William maybe the Govt might just wipe out the monarchy.
Jen, thank you for your response. I hope that all this happens during Bill’s time. I’d like to see that smug look wiped off his face.
So would I! But apart from that, it seems cruel and unnecessary for any child to have his/her life set in stone without thought to its abilities, aspirations and overall well-being. It is at odds with the collective knowledge of humankind.
I agree Jen, Shakespeare was very wise. He said:
“To thine own self be true…..”
Most of us are familiar with the above quote taking from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but how many of us know this verse: “And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man.” Unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others.
Neither Waity nor Wimpo **know** who they are, what they want, and they’ve both been forced onto paths that aren’t right. Granted, Wimpo loves the perks, and Waity pursued him (think Carole) but I’m glad someone finally said that it’s not fair and it never ever ever ends well. Carole should have lived her own life and let her children find their own way, and as for the queen, I haven’t any particular use for her. I read that while she did listen to the people who told her that she was making a huge mistake by not responding to Diana’s death and finally made an effort, I also read that there were **no** prayers said for Diana at a service the queen attended. That’s small, petty, and downright nasty. I won’t say anything further because it’s only my opinion and I love the British people.
Well, being dazzled by stuff and status always leads to a dead end, to continue your metaphor. Recently a question was asked of William as to when George will ‘know’ about his family (and by insinuation, his position). You know, I hope he and Charlotte are freed from such a burden if/when a monarchy is abandoned. Every child should be allowed to construct their own futures. Carole Middleton: take note. I dread to think of the influence she will have on these children given that her own children are ‘stuck’ living out her dreams.
I’m constantly humbled by the goodness and humanity in the world that is so often dwarfed by the ugliness by avarice and pride. This KMR post and subsequent comments has flushed out a myriad of details that show the BRF to be far from the role models they claim to be. I had not heard of the refusal to offer prayers for Diana; that is indeed… unChristian, particularly for one who heads the Church of England. All of this makes me reflect on what comprises ethics in leadership, whether hereditary, political, professional etc.
I had not heard about the no prayers at the service. I admit that I am taken aback by that and horrified.
@royalsareajoke: “I also read that there were **no** prayers said for Diana at a service the queen attended. That’s small, petty, and downright nasty. I won’t say anything further because it’s only my opinion and I love the British people.”
I’m almost speechless that such was the case. I agree with you that if that was the Queen’s request, it was was downright nasty.
While I do admire the Queen for her dedication to her role as ruler, but I’m somewhat baffled as to why she wants to keep on building her legendary status, thus, depriving her son and heir of his entitlement to rule also. IMO, it’s very selfish of her. I feel HM should abdicate and let Charles become King, which is similar to what the Dutch Queen did, and her son is now ruler of the Netherlands. Charles is close to 70 years of age, and will not be a threat to her legacy, therefore HM should let him have his turn.
I remember reading this vividly since I was utterly and absolutely shocked and appalled, but while I rather **suspect** that it was under the queen’s mandate I don’t know. I thought, and **she’s** head of the Church of England?? You would expect her to offer prayers for her former daughter in law, the mother of her grandchildren so whether she advised the clergy not to offer prayers, or didn’t insist that that they did, my opinion remains the same.
What service are we talking about? Is it a memorial service for Diana or what? Honestly, she wasn’t a member of the RF. That’s why the Queen didn’t really care I’d imagine–and the Queen genuinely liked Diana, as did Philip. It’s cold but… Super old school; that’s why she didn’t want her to have this giant funeral, either, but the public reaction of utter insanity I think made it a given. (I do not get the fuss over Diana. She did great charity work and was glamorous, and did some great things for the AIDS epidemic by giving it PR. It’s nice to see Harry continuing to battle the stigmas of it.) But Diana’s behavior towards the monarchy would definitely not engender good feelings HM would have had towards her I’d imagine. All of those public PR fights, the things that were said. It probably made HM really angry and hurt. Not a Christian response but we’re all human and it’s not like the family is known for airing their emotions in public. That’s what Diana did so well, for better or worse. The RF is all about ‘never complain, never explaine’ and smiling and all loving hospitals, to quote Queen Mary.
To those who bring it up – HM made a vow to God she will reign until she dies at the Coronation. And being a religious woman of faith she means it. As much as I think Charles has been a great PoW, I don’t see him ever being king. I think he may kick it before his mother does, which sucks, because I think he’d be a good king and William… Let’s not go there.
The morning of Diana’s death, entire family, boys included attended the usual service at Balmoral.
The service they attend would have been at a time when Diana’s death was known to the world and the leading item on the news.
We also know that family at Balmoral, boys included, had been told ahead of the service.
Anyhue, part of the prayer service is special prayers offerred for HM and various members of the damily.
When Diana was divorced, her name was removed from the services.
On this occasion, considering everyone knew that Diana was dead, a simple prayer for her soul wouldn’t have gone amiss in a service that is also praying for HM’s soul.
It was a cruel oversight, but it starkly demonstrated how unfeeling HM could be in light of this tragedy.
Ps: i think Diana was difficult and HM didn’t like her in the end, but considering she clung to the PR lue that she didn’t react to Diana’s boys out of concern for her grandsons, it’s telling that she couldn’t say a prayer for her soul until publicly forced to do so at Westminster.
I too don’t understand the Diana fascination. The tell-all book, TV interviews etc.. were not classy at all. I just watched a documentary about Diana and one interviewer said that after the embarrassment of the book and TV interview, Diana had to redeem herself by launching her new career path.
But then, she did do a lot of good work. I cannot imagine what she would have accomplished had she lived to the present day.
@Ida, “The sad fact is that the BRF thinks this will never happen ‘cos they have survived this long being parasites & fooling their subjects into loving them.”
In my opinion, I truthfully feel that K&W are over the top extremely wasteful. The cost of Kate’s clothes and jewelry are off the chart. Before she married William her clothes were very ordinary looking, and I believe it’s why some journalists referred to her as being “thrifty”. However, she is anything but “thrifty”, and has evolved into being a wasteful prima donna, who can afford to purchase several items of clothing in the same color. This kind of spending is abnormal.
Prince Charles has very generously afforded Kate a $1,000,000 clothing allowance, and I bet she uses every penny of it, and then some. It would now be a difficult, and an impossible task for PC to even attempt to curb W&K’s wasteful spending, and I doubt PC would want to do so, in light of how William always pulls out the grief card. Maybe, PC in some way is trying to assuage William’s pain from the loss of Diana, and indulging W&K’s luxurious lifestyle is the only way he knows how. William repeatedly plays his sadness card to the hilt, hence, I doubt there will any attempt to curb on W&K’s expensive spending sprees, e.g., skiing, mustique, et.al.
I bet William does pull the “grief card” and the “sadness card” out every time he can. Spot on there.
“Prince Charles has very generously afforded Kate a $1,000,000 clothing allowance”
Really? $1M clothing allowance? and yet she still dresses badly!
Money doesn’t buy taste or style. It can buy you someone to make you look like you have them though.
In all seriousness, how can Kate spend one million pounds/dollars on ‘work’ clothes when she works so little?
Kate – and mother – could acknowledge that they don’t know everything – would do well to employ a top-notch stylist eg Charlie Anderson to dress her in a snazzy, age-appropriate, occasion-appropriate manner. That would be money well-spent.
$80,000 pendant necklace + $50,000 matching earrings. Plus new outfit that addes up to approx $10,000 minimum every occasion she makes a public appearance.
That’s how you spend that level of a clothing allowance.
Sigh. You’re right, of course. The waste is breathtaking.
Well, if I were Camilla, I’d say “less of that”! Offering Kate a lottery winning amount of a clothing allowance? They are truly willfully unapologetically oblivious. All of them.
KMR – I’m having major issues with the site. There’s a video ad on the side that despite my adblock plays and it lags the commenting and often crashes my browser. 🙁
I’m sorry about that Ellie. I don’t know which ad that is since I get different ads and can’t control what is shown. The only thing I can think of is to refresh the page and hope a different ad pops up or that the adblocker works.
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