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  #101  
Old 07-07-2007, 06:28 PM
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But, that is a mere £15 million!
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  #102  
Old 07-07-2007, 09:33 PM
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If I were the Queen, I would simply move out and go where I wasn't in danger of being hit by falling mortar if nothing was done about it. Perhaps I would even put a "rooms for let" sign on the gates as I went to my (properly-maintained) privately-owned homes.
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  #103  
Old 07-07-2007, 09:37 PM
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Let's see what the penny pinchers have to say when little Lady Louise is brained by a piece of falling masonry.
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  #104  
Old 07-08-2007, 05:45 AM
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Are you saying Edward & Sophie are not maintaining Bagshot Park either!
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  #105  
Old 07-08-2007, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
But, that is a mere £15 million!
I hope that amount is annually for each residence, because that amount won't go very far to meet the costs of all the palaces!
In any case, I thought the Duchy of Lancaster (or the Crown Estate rather) covered the cost of maintaining the official residences, as the Civil List is strictly for travel and other expenses related to official engagements, and the Civil List monies never seem quite adequate for covering the enormous costs I can't even imagine Buckingham Palace alone draws!

My aimless ponderings now beg the question: What is the difference, if any, between the Duchy of Lancaster and the Crown Estate? Is it that the Duchy is something privately inherited and un-entailed, where the Crown Estate is entailed in the Monarchy and as such cannot be 'sold' or let as a 'private property' could be?

Bagshot Park is definitely part of the Crown Estate. Technically, the Wessexes pay rent to the Crown Estate. It makes me chuckle thinking of them paying "rent".
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  #106  
Old 07-08-2007, 03:43 PM
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How about a begging bowl at every palace?

The Duchy's main purpose is to provide income for the Sovereign as Duke of Lancaster, although the Sovereign is not entitled to any of the capital assets of the Duchy. Established over 700 years ago, the Duchy of Lancaster is a body created under Charter.
The Duchy of Lancaster - Accounts Annual Reports and Investments
remember to add 3 x 000's to the figures shown, ie. £10628,000.00

The Crown Estate is worth almost £6 billion and encompasses three properties sectors – urban, rural and marine, £191 million in revenue surplus – all of the net revenue generated annually by The Crown Estate is paid to the Government for the benefit of the taxpayer.

Our Portfolio
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  #107  
Old 07-08-2007, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
How about a begging bowl at every palace?
The begging bowl truly is a fine idea. I wonder who might toss a few pounds in there? Perhaps hopefuls for one of those great initial sequences behind their names. A Penny for a KCVO? A Thistle or Garter perhaps?
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  #108  
Old 07-08-2007, 05:12 PM
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I think that you might find, Casiraghi Trio, that there is a specific Grant in Aid to cover the cost of travel, as well as the Grant in Aid to defray upkeep costs, both separate from Civil List monies.

No one wants the Queen, her family, or the vast retinue of servants and courtiers to be in any danger. That's never been the point of the debate.

One thing which I found remarkable was that Clarence House was refurbished before Charles moved in after the death of his grandmother. The cost of this refurbishment was approximately 5 million pounds! Whereas I couldn't cavil at all at any modernisation or preservation program, I found it astonishing that the Queen Mother must have been living in royal squalor for such a huge expenditure to be found necessary.

Further, whether it was true or not, it was reported in the Australian press that a great deal of money was spent on providing new accommodation for Mrs Parker Bowles who had moved in with Charles, well before she and the prince married. This news occasioned a great deal of rancorous and negative comment about them both at the time, I recall.

Taxpayers, if they foot the bill, are entitled to explanations. It is not, so far as I can see, unreasonable for them to do so. Neither is it, so far as I can see, an attack on Her Majesty, personally.

A number of royal palaces, including Kensington Palace, are maintained and paid for by a privately run and independent charity, Historic Royal Palaces, and do not receive monies towards their upkeep from the Grant in Aid funds.
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  #109  
Old 07-08-2007, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Polly View Post
I think that you might find, Casiraghi Trio, that there is a specific Grant in Aid to cover the cost of travel, as well as the Grant in Aid to defray upkeep costs, both separate from Civil List monies.

No one wants the Queen, her family, or the vast retinue of servants and courtiers to be in any danger. That's never been the point of the debate.

One thing which I found remarkable was that Clarence House was refurbished before Charles moved in after the death of his grandmother. The cost of this refurbishment was approximately 5 million pounds! Whereas I couldn't cavil at all at any modernisation or preservation program, I found it astonishing that the Queen Mother must have been living in royal squalor for such a huge expenditure to be found necessary.
I'm not saying this refurbishment was or was not appropriate, but it did occur to me that perhaps it was so expensive because he converted everything into special eco-saving technologies, such as he does for many of the Duchy of Cornwall homes? Those things, such as the recycled-rainwater sewage systems, are state-of-the-art and admirable, although I would hope he would have used Duchy funds to pay for such installations.
Also, he had to furbish the house to accommodate (not only CPB as you point out next) but also his sons, where the Queen Mother had lived there alone, hadn't she?

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Taxpayers, if they foot the bill, are entitled to explanations. It is not, so far as I can see, unreasonable for them to do so. Neither is it, so far as I can see, an attack on Her Majesty, personally.
Amen to that.
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  #110  
Old 07-08-2007, 09:50 PM
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I'm sure that Prince Charles would have paid something himself from his own funds. I imagine that it may well have been a requirement. Clarence House is, I know, an important building and it's entirely appropriate that it be appropriately maintained for the nation.

However, I wasn't asked to contribute towards the 5 million pounds cost so I'm not complaining, really. I mention it only in the context of 15 million pounds being seen as insufficient to repair and maintain those palaces which the royal family use.

Often, these sorts of reports are used to construct and build upon a certain image of the royal family, usually to its detriment. I believe, then, that the royal family should not only be accountable but be seen to be accountable, in its own best interests. There is often an insidious sub-text to these complaints which are apparent to those of us in Commonwealth countries, and which betray a purpose beyond the simple and usual grumbling at perceived extravagance.
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  #111  
Old 07-08-2007, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
But, that is a mere £15 million!

Down fromn 29 million pounds in 1991.

In other words the amount spent on maintaining the royal palaces was 29 million in 1991 but now only 15 million is allocated. http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/n.../9900563es.pdf

Is it any wonder that there are problems?

I don't know for sure about Britain but what I could buy in 1991 wouldn't buy half I what I buy now and my income has more than doubled in that time.

Surely, the Grant-in-Aid should have increased in the 16 years since 1991 to maintain these buildings not been halved?
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  #112  
Old 07-08-2007, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Polly View Post
I'm sure that Prince Charles would have paid something himself from his own funds. I imagine that it may well have been a requirement. Clarence House is, I know, an important building and it's entirely appropriate that it be appropriately maintained for the nation.

However, I wasn't asked to contribute towards the 5 million pounds cost so I'm not complaining, really. I mention it only in the context of 15 million pounds being seen as insufficient to repair and maintain those palaces which the royal family use.

Often, these sorts of reports are used to construct and build upon a certain image of the royal family, usually to its detriment. I believe, then, that the royal family should not only be accountable but be seen to be accountable, in its own best interests. There is often an insidious sub-text to these complaints which are apparent to those of us in Commonwealth countries, and which betray a purpose beyond the simple and usual grumbling at perceived extravagance.

According to reports at the time such as: BBC NEWS | UK | Clarence House to open to public

The 4.5 - 5 million pounds was for structural repairs etc while Charles paid for the rest of the restoration himself.
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  #113  
Old 07-08-2007, 11:05 PM
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Wasn't Charles's contribution limited to paying for restoration of the private areas of Clarence House, not to the rooms that were being opened to the public?
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  #114  
Old 07-09-2007, 12:01 AM
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Your point is well made, Chrissy57, but since the early nineties, the Queen's financial arrangements and public funds in support have all radically altered. The Monarch doesn't lose at all, we're told. What the Crown loses on the swings, it gains on the roundabouts. Be this as it may.......

My personal view is that Her Majesty was ill-advised to capitulate to the common clamour and agree to pay income tax. I think that, given historical precedence, she should have been permitted to maintain this one, single privilege, and heaven only knows, The Crown has been constrained to surrender nearly all others. True, times change and Monarchy must adapt, but this whole issue was predicated on the restoration costs of Windsor Castle (36 million pounds) for which many objected to paying, as it is, much more than Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty's home. I recall reading, with some indignation, that prior to the fire, Windsor's insurance policies had been downgraded, to save on the premiums! Hopefully, these penny-pinching advisers were subsequently shown the door!

What transpired then was the short, ignorant, incompetent view, which failed to consider the intrinsic value of Windsor to the nation, no matter who does or doesn't live in it.

Had The Queen not been prevailed upon to pay income tax, then much of this complicated fiddling and diddling and never-ending arguing with and about accounts and rows over who pays what for which would never have arisen.

The upshot is that Queen Elizabeth is frequently assailed by critics. My opinion is that the Royal Family does itself no favours by not elaborating on its reasons and rationale for what it needs or requires to be done, i.e. explaining. The unfortunate impression is that they, perhaps, believe themselves above this, apparently, demeaning exercise. Again, I think that they're ill-advised. Instead of an opportunity to understand and appreciate any difficulties, we have, in lieu, forensic accountants pouring over every penny and pound in an effort to 'catch them out'. Not edifying; and surely humiliating for Her Majesty.

In sum, I don't care what Elizabeth II cost, though I'm not so sanguine about the lesser royals. I think that she's the hardest working, most dedicated and most devoted of all. Throughout my life she's been the template for a strong, honourable woman, who accepts her role with dignity and determination. Her commitment to do her duty is exemplary and unmatched, and has been for decades.

If anyone deserved a tax-break, she did. I know that she possesses vast wealth, but that's not my point.
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  #115  
Old 07-09-2007, 05:12 AM
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When calling for more money to do the repairs it is worth considering how many advisors have advisors to advise them what they might need to get advisors in to advise them on what they need to do. If they got rid of some of these flunkys, they could save a tidy sum themselves towards the repairs. How did it get so bad that nobody noticed, where has the money that has been allocated over the years gone. Somebody seriously needs to look at how they have set out their budgets.

I also think HM has done a marvelous job over the years, but I think a fully working NHS, Education and OAP is far more important to the majority of the people who pay their taxes, than paying for the restoration of a building, as you say, they had under insured.

I found this old article about the tax HM pays, you might be interested to know that no tax is paid on the income from the Duchy of Lancaster

New Statesman - Keeping ma'am about the money
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  #116  
Old 07-09-2007, 01:14 PM
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There is often an insidious sub-text to these complaints which are apparent to those of us in Commonwealth countries, and which betray a purpose beyond the simple and usual grumbling at perceived extravagance.
I think this part of your post strikes on a great point. It is unfortunate that nearly all writings about royalty are motivated by an agenda of some kind. If it's not a Republican press undermining their 'good works' to highlight the 'extravagance', it's a Labour MP trying to squash a Civil List increase proposal because he/she wants more funds for a welfare project, or else something totally different, like designers pushing for royal warrants.

All I mean by my comment that £15m seems like a small sum for the repairs costs of all official royal residences.
I do agree that there are "more important" things, healthcare and education being the most important. But good historical preservation goes a long way to keeping the cities looking good. When buildings start falling into disrepair, it just makes economic problems worse. London is one of the great cities in the world. As a longtime American Anglophile, I hope it will always be so.
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  #117  
Old 07-09-2007, 02:32 PM
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The Queen doesn't help them financially the way she helps her children. If she did, David wouldn't be constantly complaining of how broke he is, time and again, in his interviews. He has always said that he pays his own way, though EIIR's use of his company helped raise his profile.
It's strange to think of David Linley being "broke". Maybe he and Serena live very expensively and so are spending as much as they earn, but he definitely makes a lot of money from his furniture. Linley furniture is among the Highest End furniture in the world, true largely because of his royal association, but also because it is all so excellently hand crafted. The viscount collaborated with James Ogilvy when the latter was launching his Luxury Briefings, and the two rather helped each other, with Ogilvy advertising for Linley and giving Linley furniture rave reviews in his magazine. The result must have been even more prestige and money for Linley. I think David Linley must make a lot of money, and if ever he is "broke" it is only because he and his wife spend every penny of what comes in: i.e. his Beamer motorbike and her Armani clothes!
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  #118  
Old 07-09-2007, 07:01 PM
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Well, considering the Crown Estate generates at least 250 million pounds a year for the Exchequer, I think the overall cost of the monarchy to the British taxpayer is minimal.
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  #119  
Old 07-09-2007, 07:03 PM
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Viscount Linley has never been broke in his life. Maybe he didn't have all the millions he wanted, but he certainly has it now after selling off his mother's jewels, not to mention the $10 million she left him and Lady Sarah.
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  #120  
Old 07-09-2007, 07:47 PM
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My personal view is that Her Majesty was ill-advised to capitulate to the common clamour and agree to pay income tax. I think that, given historical precedence, she should have been permitted to maintain this one, single privilege, and heaven only knows, The Crown has been constrained to surrender nearly all others.
It was pointed out at the time that there isn't much historical precedent for the monarch not to pay tax on essentially private income. It seems to have been done at least to an extent in the last few reigns and only really stopped with George VI. I think part of the problem was that when people tried to find out the extent of the Queen's personal fortune they were always told that it was private and there was no reason to divulge any information about her private money just as the rest of us wouldn't expect to see our private financial doings splashed across the newspapers. But when it came to calls for her to pay tax, the response was alway that it really wasn't that simple, her public and private monies weren't exactly separate, etc etc. This looked like a really classic case of trying to have one's cake and eat it.

While there's no point taxing the Civil List income, which is mostly supposed to be a reimbursement of expenses anyway and would have to be increased just so they could get the tax back and still cover the expenses, which seems like an exercise in unnecessary paperwork, I do think there's a case to be made for the Queen to pay tax on her private income and investments if they really are private, as her advisors have always claimed.

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In sum, I don't care what Elizabeth II cost, though I'm not so sanguine about the lesser royals. I think that she's the hardest working, most dedicated and most devoted of all. Throughout my life she's been the template for a strong, honourable woman, who accepts her role with dignity and determination. Her commitment to do her duty is exemplary and unmatched, and has been for decades.
I do think it was unfair that, because people were fed up with the antics of Fergie and Prince Edward and soured on the monarchy because of Diana's propaganda, the Civil List payments to all the minor royals were stopped. Diana, as the wife of the Prince of Wales, wasn't covered anyway, and nor was Fergie after her divorce, so they weren't affected anyway. But people like the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who'd reluctantly given up their hope of private life to support the monarchy for decades, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who lived lives dedicated to public service and paid, in the Duchess's case, with physical and mental breakdowns, and Princess Alexandra, who continued to support the monarchy via public service for decades while married and raising a family, all had their Civil List income withdrawn as though they were the ones who'd caused the problem.
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