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I often hear a lot of British people saying “Whats the point of the Queen, why does she deserve my hard earned money when i didn’t elect her?” Hopefully with this Blog post i will be able to explain why in actual fact the British Monarchy is a lot more beneficial then you think. With Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee coming up it really does make this Blog post all the more relevant.

So just how much does the Royal Family cost to maintain, the answer, £40 million, that is about 65 pence per person, per year of tax money going to the Royal’s. Hardly anything really is it? Well let’s discuss why the Royal Family gets 65 pence of your tax money per year first. It begins with King George III, while he did own vasts amounts of land, the profit from their rental was too small to cover his expenses. He offered a deal to parliament: for the rest of his life he would forfeit the profits from the rents on his land in exchange for getting a fixed annual salary and having his debts removed. Parliament took him up on the deal, believing that one day the lands value would rack up to the point whereby profit could be made.

So how did the above deal effect the Parliament of today? Well let’s compare their profits and losses. The cost to maintain the royal family today is £40 million pounds per year as we mentioned before. But the revenue paid to the UK from the Royal lands is £200 million. So £200 million in revenue subtract £40 million in salary costs equals £160 million pounds in profit. So Great Britain earns 160 million pounds in profit, every year from the Royal Families land (Crown Estate).

Doing the individual’s math again: £160 million pounds divided by 62 million people is about £2.60 per person. So Because of the Royal Family, your taxes are actually £2.60 cheaper each year than they would otherwise be.

Why not kick they royals out and keep 100% of the revenue? Well.. King George III wasn’t the only Monarch of Great Britain to give up the profits of his land, in fact every Monarch since King George III has voluntarily turned over the profits from their land to the Great Britain. If the government stopped paying the Royal Family’s living and state expenses the Royals would be forced to take back the profits from their land. Then taxes would go up!

Plus 160 million is just the easily measurable money the United Kingdom makes from the royal family. Because a key selling point of the Monarchy today is the tourism it attracts to Great Britain.

Tourists spend A LOT of cash on Great Britain each and every year! Sure not everything they come to see is royal, but the most expensive stuff is. Americans fly across an ocean to see a land filled with Castles that aren’t plastic. Of course they could visit France & Germany who have also had monarchs, but thats exactly why they don’t. They HAD monarchs where as the UK HAS monarchs living today in their real castles. The Royal Crests you see across London, on Royal Palaces, Government Departments and even the Guardsmen uniforms are all REAL and embody and living and breathing Queen of today.

12 million tourists visit every year spending 7,000 million pounds.

For Republicans arguing that the Queen still sits in a seat/throne of power then think again.. HM powers are limited to approving Law, that is all. Sure they can advise the current Prime Minister and government on certain courses of action but overall it is up to them whether they want to take on the Queens advice.

So take away the Royals and you are left with Republican Britain, a huge loss of money, a President with all out executive power – who ironically would probably cost more as well. I remember a great British politician saying: “Its ironic that the Prime Minister goes through the week standing up against opposition, debating and arguing for laws etc. Yet no matter ow big his ego, he still has to visit the Palace every week, and bow down to Her Majesty..”

Join the conversation! 44 Comments

  1. “So just how much does the Royal Family cost to maintain, the answer, £40 million”

    That’s the figure that the palace releases, when you consider that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information act, they could leave out whatever additional costs they like (as they did, that figure doesn’t take in additional costs like security and travel expenses to name only a couple)

    “that is about 65 pence per person, per year of tax money going to the Royal’s”

    Let’s ignore the incorrect use of an apostrophe. The figure of 65p per year was created by diving £40 by the full population of the United Kingdom, not just the number of people who pay taxes, so that, along with what has already been covered, means that the cost to each person in the U.K. is higher than 65 pence.
    In response to the painfully common Crown Estate argument, I would like to present this paragraph from the FAQ page of the Crown Estate’s website:

    “The Crown Estate belongs to the reigning monarch ‘in right of The Crown’, that is, it is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne. But it is not the private property of the monarch – it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.”

    So there you have it, the Windor family do not own the Crown Estate, it “belongs” to the monarch only during their reign and this ownership is about as useless and ceremonial as almost everything else the Queen does, this seemingly pointless position could easily be transferred to parliament or (more likely) the elected president or elected monarch if we became a republic. I’d also like to point out that the royal family have next to nothing to do with the management of the Crown Estate and if they weren’t exempt to inheritance tax (like the rest of us) the royals would be gradually losing any claims they can make to their monopoly of land, which was almost certainly gained by killing the rightful owners.

    “Every Monarch since King George the third has voluntarily turned over the profits from their land to the Great Britain. Again: Voluntarily.”

    Yeah, good luck to them if they ever attempted to take back the profits from the Crown land, they’d be kicked out of government quicker than you could say “Medieval politics” and they know it.

    “We are still forgetting one very important thing that the Royals add to Great Britain.. TOURISM!”

    Ho ho, the magical tourism trump card that makes everything okay, we’re gonna have fun here…

    Royal Residencies (the only tourist attractions that you can really give credit to the reigning monarch for, although I still think tourists are more interested in the architecture and history than they are an old woman in a crown) rank quite low in lists of top tourist attractions (ranked in terms of visitors and income), in fact I think only Windor castle ever makes the top 20. Royal residencies make up about 1% of the overall tourist revenue. We could make a lot more money off those old buildings if they could be opened to the general public and tourists on all days of the week, wanna know how we could do this and make more money from those precious tourists? By getting rid of the monarchy.

    “ Americans fly across an ocean to see a land filled with Castles that aren’t plastic.”

    I’ll bet the shared language and fairly familiar culture has nothing to do with them coming over here.

    “But perhaps you don’t care than the monarchs are a perpetual GOLD MINE for the UK.”

    They’re not, and capital letters won’t change that.

    “But Her Majesty’s powers are limited to a theater act of approving what parliament wants to do anyway.”

    You misspelt theatre. The monarchy has “unofficial” influence in government, in that they can influence politicians as their last name gives them unearned respect, Prince Charles (next in line for the throne) has a habit of annoying politicians with his handwritten letters on various policies, what’s to stop him from meddling when he is King? On this topic, as the monarchy is exempt from the freedom of information act, we can’t truly know how much influence they have or how they choose to use it. Also, every bill has to be approved by the Queen before it becomes a law.

    The last paragraph is my favourite, both because it’s the only one you didn’t copy directly from CGPgrey’s video (you didn’t even bother changing the title) and is also (somehow) more foolish than the rest of this blog.

    “So remove the Royal Family and what do you get.. A huge loss of money”

    For reasons I’ve already discussed, we could probably save and make more money if we became a republic.

    “a President who with the touch of a button can do whatever he wants”

    Wait, what? Suddenly we would become a dictatorship? The president of the United Republic would most likely have similar or the same powers as the Queen has now.

    “and overall a very boring Republic, who would want to come to rainy Britain if there is no Queen, no Palace, no Royal Guards marching the streets, no one.”

    No one, except for all the people who visit non-royal attractions, which are responsible for 99% of our tourist revenue. Also, if that were true, then how do republics attract tourists without a magical monarchy? Oh wait a minute, they do and guess what? They haven’t fallen into political turmoil either.

    “Inevitably our Monarch is the only thing keeping Great Britain.. Well Great”

    Wrong, however you could say “the monarchy is the only thing keeping Great Britain, well, outdated.”

    “it’s what makes our Prime Minister quiver in fear, knowing every week even he will have to get on his knee to Her Majesty.”

    Hang on, I thought the Queen had no power? Or, are you changing your (or should I say CGPgrey’s) argument to suit your belief? Yes, yes you are.

    That’s just the money side of things, I won’t bother discussing the other arguments for a republic or that we shouldn’t weaken our political system to save a few bucks.

    But hey, maybe I’m wrong, maybe there really is a God and maybe he/she/it really chose the Queen’s family to rule over us as a birthright and maybe I’m stupid for wanting to elect my leaders.

    Reply
    • This entire argument is void considering that A) You do get to elect your leader and he/she is called a Prime Minister. B) If we changed to a Republic what makes you think we wouldn’t spend the same amount of money designated to Monarch on the new President. As i am quite sure the new President would be in need of the same if not more security then the current Queen.
      And please tell me at what point did i back track on the Queen having no real power?
      Oh yes because our country would be so better off with a President wouldn’t it, look at our politicians now, all hated for either 1) screwing up the economy or 2) fiddling their expense claims, yet you want one of these guys to be given the title of President. *Round of applause to you*
      But lets ignore your ignorance, and the fact that the only way you can get a point across is to attack someones spelling.
      I would have replied with respect but seeing as you put SO much effort into trying to sound like an ignorant pig i think this comment is justified.

      Reply
      • No it isn’t:

        A) You said it yourself, the Prime Minister must answer to the Queen, she is the head of state and government of the United Kingdom and yet not a single person voted for her. She is an unelected person at the top of this country’s government, therefore, she is an unelected leader.

        B) I don’t recall saying a presidency would be cheaper, however we wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the President’s non-immediate family in near perfect living conditions, which we currently do with the royals. However, switching to a republican system could lead to us being able to take full advantage of royal tourist attractions and therefore making more money in tourist revenue, I also doubt a president would be granted the standard of living that the royals are used to.

        However, as I said before, I don’t think monetary costs (except where they would make something impossible) should be discussed when it comes to our political system.

        You backtracked by saying “Her Majesty’s powers are limited to a theater act of approving what parliament wants to do anyway” and then added “what makes our Prime Minister quiver in fear, knowing every week even he will have to get on his knee to Her Majesty.”, if the queen’s powers were limited in such a way as you said, then the PM would have no reason to “quiver in fear” of her.

        Yep, politicians can be corrupted, but you know what’s the best thing about them? We can get rid of them if we want to, they have to face elections and they have earn the public’s trust if they want to keep their position. With the monarchy, the position of head of state is reserved for one family and the people aren’t even given a chance to choose someone else for the position. The queen is generally liked because she personally doesn’t get involved in politics, mostly because if she tried to do so people would start asking why she is involved in the system in the first place.

        If politicians are so useless as heads of state, then why are only 3 of the top 10 economies in the world (Japan, U.K. and Canada) monarchies? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29#List

        Ignorance, you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means…

        You’re the one plagiarizing your arguments and trying to pass off incorrect statistics and personal opinions as facts, that is ignorance.

        Also, attacks on spelling are not how I got my point across, I got my point across by explaining why the points you presented were wrong and by presenting evidence to back up my points, the fact that you haven’t responded to most of my points only proves that I did so in a successful fashion.

        It’s a shame that you were offended by my criticism, however you didn’t refrain from the use of condescending arrogance in your original post so I didn’t see why I should.

        Reply
        • “Yep, politicians can be corrupted, but you know what’s the best thing about them? We can get rid of them if we want to,”
          Can we? … been trying to get someone who isn’t an utter fucking moron into power for years and still hasn’t happened.
          Earning public trust? Pffft! gimme a break buddy, if you call the multi-million popularity contest actual choice then you are utterly deluded. How about good old Miliband? theres a rage lil git whos looking to get his own back after being picked on at school. Gordon Brown? Utter fuckwit that he was.
          Really good idea to take the general public and give everyone a chance to run the country… except its not everyone is it? it’s some angry troglodyte who decided they want to take power to run the country how they want to see it run if you’ve convinced yourself that ANY politician “earned” anything you’re sorely mistaken. Yet it’s somehow daft to take a family with generations of experience running the country, a shitload of mistakes to learn from and an arseload of triumphs to be proud of and a Family whos sole job and responsibility is to showcase the very best of britain, support its people and make it great Nooooo course not, the royals want to be the monarch for a shit country instead don’t they?
          Better we people who have been involved in politics for a long time, people who spend millions on campaigns and people who take handouts from cooperations and the wealthy world of bankers, stock brokers and energy cooperations who of course have the countries best interests at heart and not lining their own pockets at all.
          Better still we can give these guys the chance to bugger off after 4 years, so if they bugger the country who cares? they don’t have to live with it, nor their children… or their childrens children, they have nothing to bear do they?

          This country and her neighbours are in the blood of the Royal family, they bear the burden of its responsibility and representing it from the moment they’re born till the moment they die. They never asked to be celebrities, nor did they hungrily go seeking for power because they wanted a piece.

          The Royals have done more for this country and the people in it, in a day than any politician has done in a week.

          You’d seriously prefer the hilarious house of commons? full of children jeering, booing and laughing like theyre watching some playground fight? it’s pathetic

          Reply
    • You do realise he is saying that the Prime Minister has to ‘quiver in fear’ as a metaphor. The fact that even our Prime Minister, no matter what decisions he has made in the week, month or year for our country has to meet with the Queen and kneel before her. It’s a unique system we have it and i for one will fight for it till my dieing breath.
      Your argument for a republic is pathetic, typical anti-monarchist, you don’t want a monarchy but nor do you know what kind of Republic you want. Tourist revenue is made purely because of our exsistence of the Queen and royal family. People don’t want to visit a castle where a Queen used to live, they want to visit a castle where a Queen does live.
      And lastly, he hasn’t plagirised he is quoting the original debate, and i do recall reading the original debate and seeing it noted that “these facts and figures may be redistributed”.
      Once again back to the point at hand Britain is known for its history, heritage and power, at the centre of all of this there is the Monarchy. I refuse to allow this country to become the next France.
      In terms of your argument that politicans wouldn’t be corrupt, please do look at the biggest republic in the world the USA, which has the most scandalous political history ever.

      Reply
      • It’s a unique system, but in the end it does nothing, the queen is supposed to be apolitical, therefore her presence shouldn’t have any effect on the PM (although I’ve heard she prefers the conservative party), therefore it’s a useless element of the system if the queen is apolitical.

        “Tourist revenue is made purely because of our exsistence of the Queen and royal family”

        That is simply incorrect, evidence for this is seen in the figures that the majority of our tourist income come from non-royal attractions, you could argue that our heritage is a big part of our tourist revenue and that the royals had an effect on this, however this attraction would not be lost in a republic, as our heritage would not have changed.

        If the royal family is the only reason for our tourism, then how do countries without royals attract tourists? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_rankings#International_tourism_receipts_2011
        As you can see, the U.K. is 7th on the list in terms of world tourism income, every country above it is a republic.

        “these facts and figures may be redistributed”.

        Fair enough, the original video does have the creative commons license setting on it, however on my first reading no credit had been given to CGPgrey and this blog had been passed off as his/her complete own work (not even the wording had changed in many places).

        “Once again back to the point at hand Britain is known for its history, heritage and power,”

        Do you think that all of this would disappear if we removed the monarchy? We’d still have the history and heritage, only now we’d be able to make a lot more money off it by making places like Buckingham Palace completely open to tourists all year around (for examples of how successful a former royal residence can be as a tourist attraction, look at the Tower of London or the Louvre.)

        But, you’re right, god forbid we become like France, who have a stronger economy and tourist numbers than us by far, prejudice against the French is a clearly perfect argument against a republic…

        I don’t recall saying politicians are perfect, far from it, however the brilliant thing about them is that if we don’t like them then we can remove them at an election, and what can I say? I’m a sucker for an election, contributing to the choice of who represents your country really is a brilliant thing.

        Reply
    • Right, but the Queen does do something, she influences millions. So do you think the Pope is useless too?
      Your idea that removing the Monarchy will absolve us of all these issues is daft, if you dislike the monarchy so much then move abroad. Because believe it or not regardless of your facts & figures (some of which i feel are false) this country loves its Royal Family, and with the Diamond Jubilee this year that love for them has catapulted.

      Reply
      • Celebrities influence people, should they be given unelected positions in politics purely because of this? No.
        My biggest issue with the queen is that she is unelected. If she was to face regular elections for her position and win then I would be fine with her being the head of state, but she does not and therefore I am not.

        I will grant you that yes, according to surveys the majority of people would prefer to keep the monarchy, however I believe that many people are ignorant to the argument all together, mostly because there is very rarely decent public debate instead of one sided dismissal on the topic and the general public just accept it as “one of those things”, which when you consider how commonly we’re told how lucky we are to have the Queen and “how much work she does for us”, I can’t really blame them.

        I believe that many people who claim they support the continuation of the monarchy do so purely because they don’t know about the alternative arguments, an example of this is how the tourism argument is always the first I hear, many people fail to realise that there are some decent arguments for the monarchy, but tourism is not one of them.

        I do not think that removing the monarchy will fix all of the U.K.’s problems, I believe the monarchy is a fairly minor issue, but still one that should be addressed.

        “if you dislike the monarchy so much then move abroad”

        Points like this bother me, would you say to someone “Don’t like football? Move to America then” or “Don’t like Labour, the Tories or Lib Dems? What the hell are you even doing in this country then?”. It’s foolish to say that someone who holds an opinion which is in the minority should go somewhere else because of it, it’s almost like if I were to say “You like the monarchy? Then I guess you’d be just as happy living in Saudi Arabia”.

        Basically, I believe the monarchy (along with all other forms of unelected political power) is an unfair, outdated system and that the U.K. would be better off as a republic.

        Reply
        • I think the fact that the monarchy still exists is testament to the fact that Great Britain wants them there, If you look at everything that is happening in the middle east (namely Egypt), I’m sure if the people wanted them out then they would find a way to get rid…

          Reply
    • You have so much wrong there is no point going through it in detail, The monarchy does not cost 40 million last year it was 32 million (i believe) , the Freedom of information act , does not stop the bodies under this act from lying, what a stupid point. The Royal finances has to go to parilement and seeming they are the ones that give the Queen the money then, they will know how much she gets if they had a look themselves. Also this cost does include travel I suggest you do the research. But of course it does not include the protection cost. Your point about the crown estates are laughable. Your Tourism point show your misunderstanding about the whole issue of tourism. For example comparing country to country is a difficult thing , people go to France for different reasons then people coming to the UK. Also even if they do account for 1% of revenue from tourism then that is far more then we spend on them.

      Did you know we as in the people can lobby minsters, we can also email them and phone them and send letter and ask for meeting with them? guess you did not, the Royals also do not have unofficial influence over the government.

      Learn what the freedom of information act is please, you clearly do not know what it is at the moment. Yes the Queen gives her consent to laws, but the monarchy has not withheld its consent from a law in 100s of years. If the Queen did it could mean the end for monarchy in the UK.

      The Queen does get invloded in politics well rather she has meeting with the PM every week and other people at other times.

      The people of this country do have a choice about having the monarchy or not, voting is not the only way of showing support for someone.

      The Queen does not rule his reigns.

      Reply
  2. Well pretty typical ignorant, misleading or just plain wrong comments from the ‘republicanistas’, who are better described as anti-monarchists since they can’t tell you what sort of republic we ought to suffer under (other than that the Irish President – can you name hime without googling? – is a nice man – if a rather poor poet).

    The Royal finances are published and accord to all legally required accounting standards. Do they mention this? No of course not, doesn’t suit their myopic purpose. Does any other country publish the cost of Head of State security? No, of course not, publicising this fact doesn’t suit the anti-monarchists – nor does the fact that the French presidency costs THREE TIMES as much (audited figures!) Is there a ‘blanket exemption from the FoI’? No, there isn’t (see finance comment above), but also consider, does any other country routinely and immediately publish conversations between the Head of State and Head of Government? No they don’t. Not mentioned because…. well I’m sure you can fill in the rest of the reason.

    As well as the obfuscation over the Crown Estate (which would take an old-style communist land-grab to enact – what price human rights?) and the benefits of having a Head of State who is arguably the most photographed and newspaper-worthy individual in the world (ever ask yourself ‘Luke’ just WHY those tourists cone to the UK, because it’s not for the weather, is it?) there is a depressing tendency all too obvious in ‘Luke’s’ comments above to avoid the difficult questions – just how much will some tired old political hack cost us? Salary? Pension? Advisors’ costs? How about electoral costs every 5 years, estimated at £80 million and up?

    Just how divisive will a Labour (old or New) or a Tory president be? Prepared for political shenanigans at the highest level as e.g. a Tory president seeks to undermine a Labour government? (And if you think for one moment that’s not going to happen, WAKE UP! and see the US system for detail.)

    Who do you think will be ‘president’? It’s not going to be anybody without a political platform and a shedload of cash so tell me again, fool, why it’s not going to be just a retread retired member of the political class with nothing to offer the worldwide community and who will be instantly forgettable – if they’re even recognised in the first place.

    Reply
    • “all legally required accounting standards.”
      Yes, but the FOI exemption gives them added secrecy (isn’t it interesting that their exemption was added just a few months after this story came out: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/841950-the-queens-heating-bill-request-refused-due-to-public-backlash-fears). FOI is intended to allow people to for information on public bodies, but I guess the monarchy isn’t one of these then…

      Anyway, as I’ve said before, I don’t believe that saving a few pounds should be brought into a debate on our political system

      A communist land-grab wouldn’t be neccecary as the Crown Estate is not the private property of the monarch, like the Crown jewels, they belong to the state and possession is given to the queen during her time as head of state, there is no reason why this position could not be transfered to someone else if our current system was to change.

      Why would tourists come to the U.K? They have many reasons, if you think the magical Windor family are the only reason people are interested in this country then I feel truly sorry for you. Besides, even if the royals owned the Crown Estate and brought in 100% of our tourism, I see no reason why this would give them the right to the position of head of state.

      I highly doubt we’d have a PM and president from opposing parties for the reasons you suggested, the removal of the queen would not lead to a new arrangment which lacks logic.

      Your closing point seems to be “The Queen is the best choice for the position because she is popular”, if this was proven in regular elections then I would be fine with her holding the position.

      Reply
      • SInce you seem incapable of independent thought let me explain: the FoI exemption relates to discussions about government policy whether in the making or being delivered; it is quite rightly exempt since having any such discussion in public would simply curtail it. NO government department, not just the monarchy, will give you details of policy discussions, it’s exempt from the FoI as a whole. What else do you think the Queen and PM discuss?

        I see you fall back on the typical anti-monarchist “it’s not about the money” the moment your argument is shown to be nonsense. Why mention it in the first place then? Oh and please stop trying to mislead the public. The Crown Estate, like the Crown Jewels, is NOT “state property”, it is held by the Crown and is willed to the next monarch to hold on behalf of the Crown. If it WAS ‘state property’ the Treasury would have flogged it off years ago.

        “I highly doubt we’d have a PM and president from opposing parties for the reasons you suggested” Are you for real? Do you ever study foreign politics AT ALL?

        My closing point was nothing of the sort. Try reading it again.

        Reply
  3. @Joe (for some reason this page isn’t letting me reply directly)

    The change in FOI was a recent one, taking place only last year, (once again, it’s interesting that it took place after the revelation that the queen tried to have part of a grant intended for the poor in 2004. news which was revealed through FOI.)
    The problem with the royals’ new exemption is that they are supposed to be apolitical (according to many monarchists), yet this new exemption means that we cannot know if they are or not. They are free to use their influence without fear of the public finding out.

    I’m not saying the head of state should not get involved in government affairs, but if that head of state is supposed to be an apolitical safeguard, then we should be able to know when they get involved and in what way in order to know that they are not showing a political bias.

    I never said the money was the most important factor, personally, it’s fairly low on my list in terms of what is important to the debate. I’ve said in more or less every comment I’ve made here that when it comes to deciding on which political system to have, I do not believe monetary costs are important or should be treated as such, unless they’d make something impossible, which they would not in this case. I was discussing the monetary side of the debate here because that is what the blog is about and it uses many misleading or false monetary-based arguments.

    An honest typing mistake on who owns the Crown Estate which I apologise for. It is owned by the Crown, which, for lack of a better word, “rents” possession to the Queen during her reign, however she has nothing to do with the running of the organisation so you could say she’s like a poster girl for the Crown Estate. A position that comes with the position of head of state, is there a reason why a President/Elected monarch couldn’t own the Crown Estate in right of the Crown?

    In response to why we would be unlikely to have a PM and a president from differing parties, because as you said, it would be unstable. The rules and restrictions on how a president is elected would be decided when switching to a republican system so obviously rules that could result in an unstable system would not be chosen

    “tell me again, fool, why it’s not going to be just a retread retired member of the political class with nothing to offer the worldwide community and who will be instantly forgettable”
    Those last two words especially make it seem like the Queen is the best choice for Head of State because she is popular.

    The president would be whoever is elected by the people, he/she may not be known worldwide, may not be able to trace his/her family back a thousand years and may not require that his/her relatives live rent free, but he/she would be the people’s choice, which, in my eyes and the eyes of any country that values democracy, is far more important than who is in your family tree.

    Reply
    • 1. it may be “interesting” but you have not shown a causal link. In any case, I worked in the Civil Service when the ‘heating bill’ was a live issue and it was a non-story from the start – ALL departments (including the Royal Household) were asked to submit bids against unspent government money; it is a matter of record that the Treasury actually encouraged the RH’s bid initially but then later downplayed it once the media started in on the story. Note please that I refer to the Royal Household, NOT the Queen/monarch, as making the bid because it was NOT the Queen making the bid, it was some Palace official.

      2. It is nieve in the extreme to think that ANY personal comment by the monarch on any topic whatsoever would not immediately be seized on by activists, pressure groups and the like. As I referred to, discussions of government policy have to be held in conditions where opinions can be freely given and debated without the likes of the editorial teams of the newspapers, activists, pressure groups et al weighing in with their one-note histrionics and distorting the process. As I challenged you: find me a country where this sort of discussion goes on in the full light of media attention. Until you can answer that basic question, your point has no substance.

      3. The Crown does not ‘rent’ the Estate to the Queen, please stop being silly. The Crown Estate is ‘rented’ to the government for the lifetime of the monarch, no more no less.

      4. Your arguments about having not a president and government from the same political party fly in the face of every historical precedent. Even in the UK one has only to look at the local and bye-election results following a national election. In today’s circumstances, do you HONESTLY believe a Conservative or LibDem candidate for president would stand much chance were there an election today?

      Reply
  4. I do love to hear lovers of our monachy shouting how great they are, putting down all those who dare to voice a different opinion. In truth it has been demonstrated many times, by many different groups, organisations and individuals, that while the monachy do bring in a revenue for the economy this is greatly outweighed by the amount they cost.
    The revenue recorded as generated by the Royals is believed to still come in to a value of 95% if they were now a thing of the past. It isn’t the queen in residence which generates the “royal” interest from tourism. It’s the history.
    Therefore should this history be allowed to continue each year, maybe, I don’t believe so but it’s a different arguement. I do believe our history and culture should be preserved. However based purely on costs, Great Britain would be better off finacially without a royal family we have to pay for.

    Reply
    • And I do love to here republicans get everything wrong. There is no proof to back up what you are saying.. 1. There has recently been books and articles produced showing that the French head of state and that of the USA costs far more then ours. 2. No group, no organisation and individuals have proved that the cost of monarchy out ways what they bring in. Why? 3. They Royals at most cost £200 million they bring in at least 1% of tourism so £900 million plus what the add to the economy in many other areas. 4. If people were interested in the history they would go to the Tower of London or all the other castles we have. Which they do. They go to Windsor and Buckingham palace because they are the Queens home. So you are wrong.

      Reply
      • The royal family works hard for Britain, while being cautiously prudent about costs. They give us excellent value for money – and we should allow them to do their job in suitable style. If we want to maintain it as an institution, if we want to keep our monarchy as a gold standard, we should at least be pleased to pay the little required from us.
        Heres a saying, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ Is our system of Government (Constitutional Monarchy) broken? No. Why get rid of a good thing. They bring a profit, end of.

        Reply
  5. As a non-Brit who has traveled to the UK, I must say that even though I did not, on my first visit, pay entrance to most castles (due to time limitations) and therefore according to one of the commenters’ post would not have been counted as a visitor to the UK attracted by the Monarchy, my visit, as well as those of many of my friends, was prompted by the existence of the Monarchy. Their press coverage, good or bad, keeps the UK in the eye of tourists. All nations have history(many more exotic and equally or more fascinating), and language is really not that big a deal (ask the Egyptians and Indiansto name just two) but your Monarchy as much as those of you who are in favor of a Republic would hate to hear is what differentiates you in the eye of a tourist who is not purely a historian but a traveler. The UK is not a simple drive or train ride away from countries as, if not more interesting and definitely with much better climate than the UK. Compare your tourism with that of Denmark and other such countries. You should appreciate the role they play in tourism for its considerable and virtually unmeasurable worth.

    Reply
  6. In my opinion, the monarchy is just a big waste of money and I don’t really care for them at all. Our taxes go to them flying out to other countries, they don’t even know the reality of life and how hard times are, they’d rather ignore the situation, go off to fancy places, maybe do a few waves to people and expect us to think that they are ‘oh so great’. If they were left with nothing, and if the queen had to live how real pensioners and people live today, they wouldn’t know what to do. Same goes to our government, we need REAL people, who know how life is today and not someone who is brought up with a silver spoon in there mouth.

    Reply
    • Hardly a waste if they bring in more money then they cost? And it’s far cheaper then having a President. And the Queen hardly gets to decide where she goes, please show some respect, she has dedicated 60 years to her country.
      They are REAL people, they are qualified for the job they are doing – i would rather someone qualified for the job, not some odd job.

      Reply
      • To be honest, did this on the spur of the moment. Wanted to voice my opinion somehow, Don’t want to have a debate on it, too much hassle for what its worth. Like it would change anyway.

        Reply
      • I’m fairly sure most anyone would “dedicate 60 years” to thier country if they did so in the life of royalty. The queen is not a saint. Just a rich old lady. And how does being born into a family qualify you for anything?

        Reply
        • That’s the point, i’d expect every member of the Royal Family, if they ever found themself on the throne to dedicate their life to that duty. And yes the concept of hereditary leadership is dated but it works and we get our moneys worth so why change it? The majority says keep it so that’s how it will be.

          Reply
          • Don’t forget that the taxpayers of Canada Australia and New Zealand are paying for the trips by the royal family to their country. I’m sure tourists love to seek out her majesty on a trip to Vancouver. It’s pitiful that smart, rational people are seriously defending a monarchy. It’s 2013 and people are still being born into wealth and royalty without doing anything.

            Reply
            • Not entirely, of course security and transport whilst in the commonwealth country will be paid for by the government but that is the same for any visiting head of state.

              Reply
      • I’ve been reading your points and though I figure its a little too late to post a reply I couldn’t help myself after reading the above. There seems to be some good reasons for keeping the queen, all financial, yet I would love to see England became a republic but we won’t get anywhere discussing that you’re a little too brain washed.
        But to see you say that she deserves respect and that she is a real person is absurd, makes me wonder if you’re quite alright, it’s been nearly a year maybe you’re feeling better.

        Reply
        • Why would we discuss becoming a republic when all the polls says over 85% of British public want to keep the Royals? No point discussing something if it’s only the minority wanting it.
          How is it absurd to say a woman that has spent every day of her life serving her country should be respected? She has more annual engagements then any other head of state.

          Reply
  7. […] As per usual anti-royals and general republicans in the UK have seen this and gone off on one over why on earth we pay so much for this family. Last year i thoroughly went over where the Royal Household receives its money and how much it makes, then checked to see how much of that profit made from the Family then comes back to us, the tax payer, (results of which can be found here: http://relentlesslife.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-true-cost-of-the-royal-family-explained/). […]

    Reply
  8. […] blog post The True Cost Of The Royal Family Explained appears to be getting a lot of attention today, probably because of the news of Kate Middleton […]

    Reply
  9. that land is ours , you arguement that they make a profit is just silly , the land is “making a profit” out of us , its like taxing us again , your just a bit daft falling for their hype

    Reply
    • Firstly, its their land. It was fought for, purchased, invested in, its theirs. And the profit made is from rent, tourist use, events use etc. Not entirely from British people, but businesses, foreign and homegrown. Take for example Regent Street, thats part of the crown estate. All the business working from there pay a huge sum to get a spot there, that money comes back to us. Hardly daft, sounds like good business to me. Let me say again, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

      Reply
  10. […] is an update to the previous blog post ‘The true cost of the Royal Family explained..‘ because since then the Coalition Government has introduced the Sovereign Grant which has some […]

    Reply
  11. For your consideration — the “true cost” of the royals to the UK taxpayer here:
    “Does The Royal Family Take Advantage Of UK Taxpayers?–Random Celebrity — Article By Brian Warner on July 19, 2013

    [clip] Queen Elizabeth II is considered a “constitutional monarch” which essentially means that she acts as head of state within the boundaries of a constitution. She is not an absolute monarch like for example King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who has zero regulations or restrictions on how he chooses to rule.

    Today, Queen Elizabeth’s role in British politics is largely symbolic. Her role has been described as a “focus of national unity”, or in other words “a tourist attraction”. On the other hand, all British public servants (police, military, postal carriers etc) are required to swear an oath of loyalty to her Majesty. Furthermore, technically speaking British people are not “citizens” they are the Queen’s subjects. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the taxpayers of Great Britain do indeed subsidize the Queen and her extended Family’s lavish lifestyles.

    Whoever is the reigning King or Queen of England is is the benefactor of “The Crown Estate”. The Crown Estate is a $13 billion real estate portfolio that has been passed down by generations of British royals dating as far back as the 11th century.

    The portfolio includes nearly $10 billion worth of urban property and $3 billion worth of rural land. The Crown Estate owns golf clubs, parks, apartment buildings, retail space, mineral rights and much more. It even technically owns the marine life reaching 12 nautical miles off the coast of England. In 2012, profits from The Crown Estate were nearly $400 million!”

    […} The Queen does not actually profit off The Crown Estate, she is just entitled to services equivalent to the predetermined amount. Services like travel, security and maintenance at the “Occupied Royal Palaces”. Typically, Queen Elizabeth uses between $40 and $60 million worth of public services each year.

    In 2012 The British government spent a grand total of $52 million on property upkeep, communication, security and travel expenses for The Queen. Perhaps most importantly, The Queen saves countless millions every year by not having to pay any rent, mortgages or property tax on her various castles. But wait… there’s more!” etc. etc.

    http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/royal-family-uk-taxpayers/

    ALso, one can’t really discuss the pro-con royal issue without also taking into account that the average UK salary (taxpayer’s salary) that supports the lavish royal lifestyle) is rather modest. Rather. (Austerity anyone?)

    UK Average Salary Graphs (as of July 23, 2013)

    Average UK Salary by Gender
    Male –> 31, 230 pounds/year
    Female –> 24, 379 pounds/year

    http://career-advice.monster.co.uk/salary-benefits/pay-salary-advice/uk-average-salary-graphs/article.aspx

    Reply
  12. This article points out WHY we should keep our monarch. The royal family own a lot of land and properties, which is tied up in their ‘worth’ but they can not sell these. People stop groaning, the tax payer pays out a lot for OAP’s, a lot more than those who live on benefits. Let us not forget that the queen served her time in the forces, was very hands on when she was younger and is the longest reigning monarch in UK history. Over the last 100yrs or so, the current windsor reign, has had to redo a lot of the wrongs caused by past monarchs. I, for would, prefer the country to be a monarch and not led by a PM…

    Reply
  13. I read (somewhere, but I don’t remember) that the queen and maybe her son have veto powers and they use them regularly. Is that true and if it is how can you say they have no political power? Veto power is a political power I wouldn’t want to trust to someone I didn’t elect.

    Reply
    • Not all that familiar with this subject. Of course Royal Ascent is required to pass acts but that’s little more than a formality. I know prince Charles has attempted to veto some laws related to environment. The only known veto I know of that the Queen has auctioned was that of the power to declare war. Back before the war in Iraq the government wanted to take the power of declaration away from the monarchy and give it to parliament. The Queen vetoed this.

      Reply
  14. If the monarchy was to be abolished, those royal lands would be not the property of that family, but instead would be property of the state (i.e. all of us). So, we would be winning back those 40 million and keeping the 160 million, assuming your numbers are accurate.

    Reply
    • The price tag on the Royal property is so high because it is owned by a reigning monarch. You remove the Monarch then the price tag diminishes substantially. Plus what your talking about is removing the Royals and then breaking the law and seizing their land. So much for democracy.

      Reply
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  16. the cost of the jubilee was £3 BILLION,… that’s £50 per person for something that was an alright idea 1200 years ago.

    Reply
    • Don’t know where you got the figure of £3 billion from but that’s wrong. The Thames flotilla for instance was entirely funded by private donations at a total of £10.5 million.

      Reply
  17. “Don’t know where you got the figure of £3 billion from but that’s wrong”

    The CBI for a start. Although this was more about the cost of the pantomime wedding than the jubilee. Even George Osborne, aka The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the panto wedding was a factor in the poor economic performance ant the time.

    Reply

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