The Queen is more popular than ever
‘Brand Windsor’ now worth £57bn to British economy
Her majesty acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952, meaning that Queen Victoria’s record of 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes will be broken when she officially opens the Borders Railway on Wednesday.
This milestone has already reignited debates about the monarchy’s future and whether it is an asset or a drain on the British economy.
Specialist brand and business valuation agency Brand Finance sought to answer this question at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, finding the monarchy’s value at that point to be in excess of £44bn.
Contrary to some claims that the monarchy has lost its shine since then, Brand Finance’s latest update suggests the institution she leads is now worth just under £57bn and will make a net contribution to the economy this year of £1.155bn.
Costs such as the Sovereign Grant, security and maintenance of palaces have been deducted from sources of income including the uplift to the tourism, the price premium commanded by brands with Royal Warrants and the surplus generated by the Crown Estate. This net annual contribution amounts to £1.155bn in 2015.
When this contribution is projected into perpetuity, it has a net present value of £36.7bn. To this are added the Royal Family’s tangible assets (the Crown Estate, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster and the Crown Jewels) to reach a total of £56.7 billion.
Brand Finance chief executive David Haigh, says: “As Queen Elizabeth approaches this historic milestone, she heads a Royal Family near a peak of popularity. Yet the old debate over whether the monarchy should be retained continues to rage.
“The principle of whether monarchy is an appropriate and fair form of government in the 21st century certainly remains open to question. However, Brand Finance’s research shows that from an economic standpoint at least, the royalists firmly have the upper hand.”
The company believes the Royal appendage in Royal Mail was underestimated when the company was floated and was one reason why the shares leapt in value immediately after the IPO.
A Royal Warrant can confer a significant premium to brands in certain industries such as luxury, food, sporting goods and fashion, yet are currently awarded at no cost to the holder. The introduction of royalties could provide a significant new revenue stream. The unofficial endorsement of Charlotte, George and Kate in particular has a profound financial effect running into millions annually.