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  #781  
Old 01-29-2014, 12:45 PM
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The Queen is our Monarch at the behest of British Government and the people.
At the behest of the British Government and the people, she has to live in Buckingham Palace.
It is therefore the Government's and the peoples' obligation to ensure that the place is liveable and maintained to a high standard, including sorting out the leaking roofs and dodgy wiring!
I can guarantee you that Number 10 Downing Street will have no leaking roof, has updated wiring and is in good decorative order. I can also guarantee that the Houses of Parliament and all the governmental buildings around Whitehall will also be in better order than Buckingham Palace. Further, it is no secret that the Scottish Government are housed in a very lovely parliament building as is the Welsh Assembly.
No one working or living in these places will have had to pay a penny for renovations, decorating, leaks, wiring etc etc. So why should the Queen pay for Buckingham Palace??
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  #782  
Old 01-29-2014, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Royal_Royal View Post
Do you think Mr. Obama should pay for repairs at the White House? Or maybe the current President and the former living Presidents should pay, because all of them had the privilege to live there.

I can't see even a single reason for The Queen having to pay the repairs with her personal money.
Well, no President can live in the White House for more than 8 years (unless he/she assumes office while Vice President, in which case he/she can live there for 10 years - sorry, civics geek here), nor can his/her family or other heirs. And no President has huge personal wealth acquired through accident of birth into a family which has accumulated that wealth over several centuries. Notice I say accumulated, not earned.

It's obviously not mandatory for the Queen to pay for these repairs, but she could. And I think she should. Incidentally, apparently the public rooms of BP have not been painted in 60 years! Guess they did it before the Coronation and not since.

Hey, I'm a monarchist. But I see no reason why the monarch shouldn't give a gift to the nation.
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  #783  
Old 01-29-2014, 02:40 PM
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The sovereign grant as agreed between the treasury and the royal household includes responsibility for maintaining the buildings. Thats the deal. So we can discuss whether thats fair or not but it isnt going to change anytime soon.

The Sovereign Grant has only been in place since 2012 and that year had a lot of additional expense for the monarchy. Prior to 2012, the old system had not had a real terms increase for close on 20 years.

So there are reasons why the current situation exists. What I find difficult is that reserves are so low and that there is no plan in place. That indicates that a management rethink is necessary.
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  #784  
Old 01-29-2014, 02:45 PM
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I think we can safely say the Queen isn't going to pay for all these repairs out of her own pockets (and TBH I doubt the Queen has a spare £40million or so sitting around to pay for these repairs). If I remember correctly the Queen did pay about £2million of her own money to repair Windsor Castle after the fire so she may very well have paid out of her own pocket for the areas of the residences she lives in).
So maybe we can look at the bigger picture without the constant demands the Queen pays for these repairs of state properties which have not been possible due to the budget the state gives her to look after them.
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  #785  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:47 PM
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Prior to the Sovereign Grant there was a grant for the maintenance of the palaces but they had to do what they were told to do and not necessarily what was most needed. Since the Sovereign Grant The Queen has the say over what maintenance is to happen but the 36 million pounds she receives has to cover a lot more than just the maintenance of the palaces. I read somewhere that a State Visit, for instance, costs between 1 - 3 million pounds and there are usually 2 in and 2 out a year accounting for between 4 and 12 million of that 36 million.

The amount of money for the maintenance was frozen in 1992/7 (I have read both dates) and hasn't really gone up since.

Had the payments in all their forms been maintained at 1992 levels the Sovereign Grant would be around 70 - 80 million a year now. The fact that the Queen was for the first decade of the pay freeze able to save some money from the Civil List to build up a reserve and in the second decade has had to deplete that reserve says that she is on top of things but that state who own the buildings don't actually want to maintain them at all (look at the state of the Palace of Westminster which is also in a very poor state and I have heard could see the parliament have to move out for up to 5 years to bring it up to an appropriate level). Houses of Parliament could close for five years under £3bn plan to repair crumbling Palace of Westminster | Mail Online as it needs 3 BILLION pounds in repairs. BBC News - Repairing Parliament: MPs' three options (including a move) - says it wouldn't pass a Health and Safety check as a workplace.
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  #786  
Old 01-29-2014, 04:22 PM
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Thanks for the clarification - yes, it might have helped had I checked what the Sovereign Grant actually had to cover before posting before!

Nonetheless, it's not enough money to run the function of Head of State and all that it entails. I trust the primeminister only gets a mug of weak tea and a gypsy cream on his weekly visit to see the Queen!
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  #787  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:10 PM
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Throwing in an odd question. What is gypsy cream?
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  #788  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal_Royal View Post
Do you think Mr. Obama should pay for repairs at the White House? Or maybe the current President and the former living Presidents should pay, because all of them had the privilege to live there.

I can't see even a single reason for The Queen having to pay the repairs with her personal money.
It isn't his home. He is just a tenant, was not born there, nor dwelled there for his entire life and in 2 years will leave there, forever, unless invited back, by another president. As the other presidents, too. The RF use this as their primary residence and only since the fire in Windsor Castle and the backlash against taxpayers paying for the repair to that castle, was this Palace open for a portion of the year to anyone, except the RF and, of course, their servants and attendants. I do not have disdain for this family, just observe the concern over who will pay what for people who have had the world handed to them by luck of birth and have no lack of money, jewels and other very expensive items. Some stuffed in vaults never to be seen. By the way, what is gypsy cream?
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  #789  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:53 PM
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How The Queen came to her position is irrelevant. Her Majesty is a Head of State and she lives in a state-owned residence.

Yes, she will be Head of State for until death - or until abdication, which we all know it's not gonna happen -, and, yes, her family has been living at state-owned residences for centuries now, and, yes, they're pretty rich.

But that doesn't change the fact that The Queen is not obliged - nor should she be - to pay for repairs at Buckingham Palace.

She was not elected, but she reigns, the Monarchy exists, by the grace of people - although I'm firm believer in "by the Grace of God". 80%+ approves Her Majesty's work for the country and Commonwealth, 70%+ are in favour of the Monarchy.

These numbers are much higher than those an elected Heads of State with 4-8 years in office receives at his/her election.

The fact is: if a President shouldn't have to pay for repairs in a state-owned building, a Monarch shouldn't either.
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  #790  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:54 PM
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It isn't [the Presidsent's] home. He is just a tenant, was not born there, nor dwelled there for his entire life...
So, compare this to HM: It isn't HER home (it is state-owned). She is just a tenant, was not born there, nor dwelled there for her entire life, and in an undeterminable number of years will leave there forever -- unable to be invited back by anyone whatsoever. POTUS uses the White House as his primary residence as well. The only difference between the two is that the White House is open most days of the year and Buckingham Palace is not.

HM lives at Buck House not of her own choosing, but at the behest of her people and her government. So, regardless of her personal wealth or income, her people and her government (i.e., the landlords) should maintain the property she occupies as a tenant. I believe this was at the very crux of the arrangement by which the government acquired the Crown Estates, was it not?
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  #791  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:18 PM
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Gypsy Creams...

...arre two chocolate biscuits with a white creamy filling sandwiched between.
Sounds quite similar to an Oreo.
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  #792  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Royal_Royal View Post
...But that doesn't change the fact that The Queen is not obliged - nor should she be - to pay for repairs at Buckingham Palace...
She is responsible for the repairs - see my post #783
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  #793  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cepe View Post
She is responsible for the repairs - see my post #783
I was talking about Her Majesty having to use her personal wealthy to pay for the repairs.
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  #794  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Royal_Royal View Post
I was talking about Her Majesty having to use her personal wealthy to pay for the repairs.
ok - that makes it clear to me now
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  #795  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:46 PM
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In 1952 she didn't even want to move there but was made to move there as the government of the day said that the monarch had to live at BP.

Parts of BP are open to the public most days of the year - The Mews and The Queen's Gallery - so it is wrong to say it isn't open to the public.
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  #796  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jacknch View Post
Thanks for the clarification - yes, it might have helped had I checked what the Sovereign Grant actually had to cover before posting before!

Nonetheless, it's not enough money to run the function of Head of State and all that it entails. I trust the primeminister only gets a mug of weak tea and a gypsy cream on his weekly visit to see the Queen!
You've read the coverage in the UK when an increase in income for FY2103/14 and 2014/15 was announced because of an increase in the overall net profit of Crown Estates. Outrage! So an increase from government isn't going to happen.

We need to see a "normal" year - no weddings, jubilees, special events etc. to see if the £35m pa is enough. Have a plan for the gradual increase in reserves; put aside a large chunk of cash for a programme of building works; a fixed sum put aside for on-going maintenance and then see what's left.

We all do that every year - I'm on a fixed income and that's what I do. And then I cut my cloth. They have to live within their budget and they haven't.
With low reserves, they will have to now.
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  #797  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:08 PM
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If the fact that Windsor & BP are working Palaces is a reason they can't be open more frequently or more widely to tourists then why, other than historical reasons, does the Queen need to occupy both?

Windsor & London are close enough with modern forms of transport that either could be used as a South-East base. Sandringham is within striking distance of London if the Queen wanted a weekend country retreat. It might not be what she wants and, for the historical connection, I'm not fanatical about either being given up as working palaces but we all have to compromise at times.

Whether either Windsor or BP would be as popular without being the actual home of the Queen would depend on how they are marketed. Tourists still flock to the Tower of London or to Versailles even though it's been centuries since either had a monarch in residence. If, say, Windsor, had a permanent exhibition that is appealing to tourists I don't see why people wouldn't still come 364 days if the year. Sure it's not in London and so not as accessible but Blenheim & Chatsworth seem to do OK.
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  #798  
Old 01-29-2014, 10:45 PM
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If we close up Windsor as a residence then obviously events like Ascot Week and the Garter Ceremony would have to be done differently - or not at all.

I thought I would lighten the mood a little with a suggestion from the DM

Mac on... opening Buckingham Palace to the public | Mail Online
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  #799  
Old 01-29-2014, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
So, compare this to HM: It isn't HER home (it is state-owned). She is just a tenant, was not born there...
Sorry, you are right she was not born there, but she will, live there until she is not living, so it will not matter who will invite her back. Very silly. And she has greater control of the residence, presidents are truly tenants. The palace was not open, except for the Mews (a garage for coaches) and the Queen's Gallery. The rest was never open to the public until the Windsor fire. Plain and simple. And in 1952 her parents lived there, until her father died. Before that her grandfather lived there and so on and so forth. It is not a public establishment. And wherever she lived, someone else was basically going to pay.
Cepe, very smartly, shows there is a way to budget. She has to.
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  #800  
Old 01-30-2014, 05:37 AM
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She always has budgeted. The Civil List was not increased from 1992 till very recently. The reserves that are being talked about were not provided by the government or were historical bounty - they were built in the period after 1992, and used up in recent years as the impact of inflation over a 20 year period started t be felt. As has been stated by a number of posters, there will not be a single government department that has been run on a the same annual budget over a 20 year period.

Margaret Hodge is a rabid, political animal who seems to miss the point on a number of occasions. You may get a sense of that if you watched her in action when interviewing Google management on the issue of taxes due.
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