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  #201  
Old 06-28-2008, 06:58 AM
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This conversation is getting very very interesting. So I want to ask the informed ones this. Besides Sandringham Balmoral and Windsor Castle which other Palaces are owned by the Royal family? ( I believe Buckingham Palace belongs to the State rather the RF but I may be wrong) Which begs the next question if BP is owned by the State why does the Queen ask for funds to repair it. Wouldn't that be the responsibility of the State to maintain?
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  #202  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:32 AM
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The Royal family themelves own Sandringham and Balmoral, thus these are thier private property. The State owns Buckingham Palace, St James' Palace, Kensington Palace, The Palace of Holyrood House and Clarance House. The Queen, as Monarch is custodian of these state owned buildings, every year she is given the Grant in Aid for the Maintenance of the occupied Royal Palaces. This is given to her by the Government (more specifically the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) in return for the Crown Estate revenue, along with the other Grant in Aids and the Civil List. This money is paid by the State to the Queen to be spent of the State owned properties. As the Queen does not own these properties there is no reason why she should pay from her own personal wealth to upkeep these buildings. Sandringham and Balmoral are maintained by personal funds not state funds.
This year the Queen has asked for more money to allow for the upkeep of these State owned properties, as there is a backlog of work which there has been no money to pay for, this work put on backlog is now siad to be estiamted at £32million. It is important to note that the Property grant in aid was set at its curent level of £15million a year in the early 1990's. It had come up for review this year or last but has been frozen for another 3 years despite the backlog of work.
The State does maintain the state owned buildings but more money is needed and thus the Queen is asking the state for the money to pay for the repairs of its buildings.
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  #203  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:41 AM
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Thanks a million tommy. Who owns Windsor Castle and Osborne House?
I remember I read somewhere that the Queen opened Hampton Court for the wedding of CP Pavlos to MC but I somehow believe this is a totally public property rented out for events.
BTW since they opened BP to paying tourists what purse receives this income? I know that the cost of living in the UK is way too high and the strength of the British pound makes these amounts seem exhorbitant.
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  #204  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:53 AM
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Windsor Castle is owned by the State in the same way Buckingham Palace is, and the £15million a year has to pay to maintain Windosr castle. Osborne House is owned by Englsih Heritage which is a charity that looks after many of Britains statley homes, Osborne is not owned by the State or the Royal family and so is not maintained by either.
Hampton Court is owned by Historic Royal Palaces a public owned body contracted by the State (more specifically the Department for Media, Sport and Culture) to look after and maintain historic royal palaces. This being said the Grant in Aid does pay for the Royal Mews at Hampton Court where i beleive some grace and favour residences are found.

Profits from entrance to BP do go (I believe) back into the palace upkeep, if not they go to the Royal COllection which used profits to maintain the state owned paintings and other art works in the occupied royal residences.

Historic Royal Palaces are former royal residences such as The Tower of London, Kew Palace and Hampton Court which though were once royal residences are no longer. These are open to the pulic which is how there maintanance is funded.

Occupied Royal Residences are those such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St James' which are still used by the royal family and royal household these are property of the state and maintained by the state through the Property Grant In Aid.
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  #205  
Old 06-28-2008, 09:58 AM
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The problem with that argument is that the Crown Estate is about as much the Queen's personal property as Buckingham Palace is. It's the property of Elizabeth the Sovereign, not Elizabeth the woman. In a republic, she wouldn't likely get either (as opposed to things like Balmoral, Sandringham, and the Duchy of Lancaster.)
That's a fundamental point on which you and I will have to agree to disagree. The Occupied Palaces and the Royal Collection are explicitly held in trust for the nation; the payment of the Crown Estate revenues is an arrangement held by convention--it's a specific contract. If (God forbid) a republic happened, EIIR would no longer receive Civil List monies, therefore invalidating the contract.
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  #206  
Old 06-28-2008, 10:18 AM
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What should be worrying the government is the state of the palaces. No.10 is redecorated every time there is a new PM and yet BP state rooms haven't been done since before HM took the throne!

For ordinary citizens, their accommodation would be condemned if it still used asbestos and the wiring was last done in the '50's. The government are prepared to waste billions on the Millennium Dome (remember that) and now the Olympic Village Complex, but allow our heritage buildings to crumble!
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THE Queen has never had her homes decorated in more than 50 YEARS, it emerged yesterday

Amazing secrets in Royal accounts | The Sun |HomePage|News|Royals
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  #207  
Old 06-28-2008, 04:01 PM
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I look with interest and a little smile at the dicussion about the costs of the British monarchy. 86 cent (66 pence) in one year for everyone in Britain...isn´t it right?

Our German head of state the ´Bundespräsident´( Horst Köhler at the moment) also lives in a castle in Berlin, he also travelles around the world to represent the country, but i can´t remember a dicussion here about the costs of the castle ( or other places he lives or he welcomes guests for state visits) or about the costs of his trips.

I don´t support waste of money or to be too extravagant, as a royal or as a president.
But 86 cent or 66 pence...i had no problems to pay that little tribute to my head of state ( and his family) when i know they are working hard and they are doing a good job to represent ´my´ country.
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  #208  
Old 06-28-2008, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by milla Ca View Post
I look with interest and a little smile at the dicussion about the costs of the British monarchy. 86 cent (66 pence) in one year for everyone in Britain...isn´t it right?
The monarchy doesn't actually cost the British taxpayer anything. The revenues that the Queen provides her government are far, far in excess of what it costs to run the monarchy.
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  #209  
Old 06-28-2008, 08:05 PM
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The 66p is mentioned in the Buckingham Palace press release that Warren linked to a page or two ago, so I think we can take it as being correct.

ETA: Here's the link again

Media Centre > Press releases > Royal Public Finances annual report, 27 June 2008

I think we're all aware that the Crown Estate revenue is considerably larger than the amount of the Civil List and most of the other expenses of the monarchy. It doesn't come as any surprise to most of the people reading this thread that the Crown Estate exists, that there was an arrangement between George III and the government that the Crown lands would be administered by the government in return for a fixed payment by the government to the sovereign, and that the current value of the Crown Estate means that the revenue exceeds the amount of the Civil List. I would go so far as to suggest that the folk at Buckingham Palace are also aware of this. Yet they are the ones who are saying (see the above press release) that the monarchy costs 66p per taxpayer. If you really wish to take issue with this information, you might want to contact the Palace and see what they have to say.
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  #210  
Old 06-28-2008, 09:13 PM
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Their reason for releasing that information is pure PR. It's much easier, when someone believes something that is untrue--e.g., the majority of the British public believing that they pay directly for the monarchy--to convince them that the untrue thing they believe is really not very bad. It is much, much harder to tell them "what you believe is wrong, here's the way it really is".
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  #211  
Old 06-29-2008, 02:48 AM
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This Crown Estates buisiness is interesting. It's a very good thing that what was left of the Crown Lands was surrendered to the government as it has been administered far better since then.

In the event that Britain does become a republic and the Crown Estates are returned to the Monarch, I think the Monarch, whoever it happened to be at the time, would be bouncing around with sheer joy: scads of money to do with as he/she wished with no obligation to spend any of it on anyone else, and all thanks to the good management of the government.

The monarchs had a woeful history with the Crown Lands, selling them and mortgaging them and giving parcels to favourites. In 3 years Charles II managed the staggering feat of reducing the Crown Lands income from 217,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds. James II and William III were "equally liberal and improvident" and on the accession of Queen Anne it was found by parliament that the crown lands "had been so reduced that the nett income from them scarcely exceeded the rent-roll of a squire", and it was recognised that "her Majesty's land revenue at present can affort very little towards the support of her government." Legislation was introduced prohibiting absolute grants entirely and imposing stringent conditions on the length of term and rentals of future leases, and on his accession George III surrendered his interest in return for the civil list.

During the first 25 years of George III ( i.e. 1760 - 1785) the Crown Lands produced a nett average rental of little more than 6,000 pounds. Improved administration and a rise in land value made them much more productive. By 1798 they were valued at 201,250 pounds per year, by 1812 at 283,160; by 1820 314,852, and in 1830, 373,770. Seems it was not till 1860 they returned an income (416,530 pounds) which exceeded the civil list granted to the Queen. In 1958-1959 they returned 1,530,000 pounds. (Taswell-Langmead's Constitutional History, 11th Edition, 1960.)
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  #212  
Old 06-29-2008, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PrinceOfCanada View Post
Their reason for releasing that information is pure PR. It's much easier, when someone believes something that is untrue--e.g., the majority of the British public believing that they pay directly for the monarchy--to convince them that the untrue thing they believe is really not very bad. It is much, much harder to tell them "what you believe is wrong, here's the way it really is".
The Treasury contributed the equivalent of 66 pence per person in the country - They have no reason to lie, especially as some would think it wonderful if they didn't have to pay their 66p to the upkeep of the monarch.

The double thinking you suggest is illogical to say the least.

We are not going to tell you good news because you don't expect it?
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  #213  
Old 06-29-2008, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
In the event that Britain does become a republic and the Crown Estates are returned to the Monarch, I think the Monarch, whoever it happened to be at the time, would be bouncing around with sheer joy: scads of money to do with as he/she wished with no obligation to spend any of it on anyone else, and all thanks to the good management of the government.
If Britain became a republic, I would think the odds are against the 'new' government handing anything back to anyone. They would probably put in a bill for the management of the estates for so many years!
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  #214  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:45 AM
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I have just read the Queen's annual review and the Prince of Wales's annual review. The queen's annual report is just as plain as it can be, but Prince Charles's report is as colourful as can be.

I was unable to find out the amount of revenue generated by the Duchy of Lancaster, I wonder whether the annual review has revealed that? The prince's report revealed Duchy of Cornwall's revenue without singling the income segments......

Even an annual report can reveal some character difference between mother and son, how amazing is it!
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  #215  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:05 AM
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The Treasury contributed the equivalent of 66 pence per person in the country
That's an important distinction to make. Saying "the taxpayer etc" is misleading at best.

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I was unable to find out the amount of revenue generated by the Duchy of Lancaster
The Duchy returns somewhere between 7 and 10 million pounds annually to HM. The entire thing is worth around 300M pounds, if memory serves.
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  #216  
Old 07-01-2008, 08:27 AM
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Duchy of Lancaster
From the Royal website:

The Duchy's main purpose is to provide an independent source of income for the Sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. This money is mainly used to defray official expenditure not historically met by the Civil List.

The Queen uses a large part of it to meet official expenses incurred by other members of the Royal Family.
Revenues presented to the Sovereign are currently in the region of £8m per year.
Money from the Duchy is mainly used to cover official expenditure not met by the Civil List, such as the official expenses of other members of the Royal Family.

All revenue profits from the Duchy of Lancaster distributed to the Sovereign are subject to income tax in the normal way.
The annual accounts of the Duchy are submitted to Parliament. Full copies of recent years' accounts can be found on the web site of the Duchy of Lancaster.
...
£8m = Australian $16.7m, NZ $21m, US $15.9m, Canadian $16.2m, Euro €10.1m
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  #217  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:40 PM
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That's an important distinction to make. Saying "the taxpayer etc" is misleading at best.
They don't put the money from the Crown Estate in a special fund. It gets mixed in with all the other money, so it can't really be said that the funding for the Sovereign comes straight out of that. The Crown Estate is just another source of income for the treasury, so I think it's fair to say, if you mix everything together, that a good percentage of each pound spent (probably upwards of 99%) is taxpayer money.

ETA: In 2007, the Crown Estates made up 0.03% of the Treasury's receipts.
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  #218  
Old 07-01-2008, 02:11 PM
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The Treasury contributed the equivalent of 66 pence per person in the country
That's an important distinction to make. Saying "the taxpayer etc" is misleading at best.
Not at all, the treasury derives much of it's money from the taxpayer - About HM Treasury - therefore 66p of each and every persons tax is put towards supporting HM.

The argument that UK citizens are not being told their tax does not pay towards HM because they don't expect it, does not make sense and is, of course, inaccurate
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  #219  
Old 07-01-2008, 02:41 PM
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Not at all, the treasury derives much of it's money from the taxpayer - About HM Treasury - therefore 66p of each and every persons tax is put towards supporting HM.
Except that's simply not true. There is no cost to the taxpayer. If I give you $100 every year, and you give me back $50, the net cost to you is zero.

Quote:
The argument that UK citizens are not being told their tax does not pay towards HM because they don't expect it, does not make sense and is, of course, inaccurate
You're misunderstanding my point. Many people--yourself included, apparently--seem to think that the monarchy actually costs the taxpayer something. It doesn't (except inasmuch as Army, RN, and RAF units are used for security etc, but those costs are not disclosed, and are in any case not what we are discussing here), but many people think so anyway.

One of the basic lessons of marketing and PR is that if a lot of people believe something that is factually, it is very difficult to make them believe otherwise. This is largely because explaining to large numbers of people involves going into detail that they are just uninterested in hearing, and which detracts from the message you are trying to get across. Buck House are masters of spin and PR (witness how they handled the Queen around Diana's death, for example--I think it was a genius stroke, with the net result being 1) it looked like HM 'gave in' to what her subjects wanted, and 2) set the stage for HM being more open and emotional in public. Win-win. But I digress), and they recognize this basic fact.

Therefore, with people believing that HM costs them money (whether it's only 66p or people saying "Those damn parasites!" it's all essentially the same), it is very difficult to explain that "Well, okay yes the money goes into the Treasury, and comes out of the Treasury, but since a whole lot more money goes in than comes out, it actually costs you nothing," for two reasons. One, as mentioned above, that detracts from the key message, which is "Look at how much pomp and circumstance and goodwill you get, and how cheap it really is," and second, many people would see the true explanation as an attempt to pull a fast one--which just creates, of course, more problems and PR headaches down the road.

So. It is much simpler for the Palace and the Treasury to say what they do; this avoids lengthy explanations while still homing in on the key message.

Frankly, I do think Buck House is missing a trick in not being a lot louder about how much more efficient they are at handling the money in-house vs. back when Parliament managed the accounts. I can't remember the actual number, but we are talking orders of magnitude of efficiency since Buck House took over handling expenditures. Publicizing it a bit more might turn public opinion towards "Is that all she gets? Give her more to fix the Palaces!" but who knows.
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  #220  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:11 PM
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Sorry, in difficult financial times, people can well see what The RF has at their disposal and what the average citizen has. No one will cry about her "home" needing redecorating. If it does. She can afford to do it. Just as they felt about restoring Windsor after the fire. It only belongs to the public when it is damaged. Didn't sell that time and rightly so.
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