New settlement due
Queen ‘accepts’ need for pay cut in Covid-squeezed UK
The Queen understands the need for a smaller budget
The Queen is expected to take a substantial “pay cut” as she accepts the need to share some of the hardship felt by the British public during the pandemic.
Government officials are said to be in talks with the Palace about a new and lower financial settlement for the Royal Family when the five-year Sovereign Grant agreement ends next year.
“Insiders told MailOnline that the Queen is “very much aware of the hardships people have been through during the pandemic and is happy to play her part in cutting costs.”
The Royal Family currently receives 25% of the Crown Estate’s profits which was increased from 15% to pay for the extensive programme of refurbishments at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen conducted 296 official engagements in 2019, when she received £82.4 million from the taxpayer, equating to just £1.23 for every person in the UK.
Some argue that there are other costs not covered this sum, including as much as £100 in security and that the actual total is nearer to £350m.
The Queen has voluntarily paid income and capital gains tax since 1992 on her private income and the revenues not used to finance her official work.
Prince Charles has also voluntarily paid income tax on his income from another landed estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, since 1993.
In 2017 Brand Finance estimated that the monarchy brings in many times more than that from tourism and trade – as much as £1.8 billion.
Meghan and Harry in Edinburgh, but no longer on the Royal roster (pic: Terry Murden)
The family is funded through the Sovereign Grant which replaced the Civil List as the funding mechanism for the royals in 2012. It supports the cost of public duties, including travel, operating costs of the Queen’s household and the upkeep of palaces.
The Palace admitted last September that it faced a £35million funding shortfall due to Covid-19 but said it would not ask for extra public money.
Instead there is an acceptance that costs will need to be trimmed. Expenditure has already fallen because of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer on the Family roster and both Prince Philip and the Duke of York stepping down from public duties.
The Queen has been spending lockdown at Windsor Castle where she and Philip have been supported by a smaller team of staff.