Judging from some Tweets I've received this morning there seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding about the money given to Queen Elizabeth II - what is known as The Civil List.
Up until now, each year the monarch has handed over money from The Crown Estate to the government (in 2009/2010 this came to £211million). In return she has received money from the government to run the monarchy and the royal households. From 2001 she received £7.9million (and that had not changed in 2011) plus £22million to run the royal palaces. The queen does not own Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle herself, neither does she own the art collections etc. She does own other property and has investments from which she pays her own private expenses. She also pays taxes.
From 2013, this arrangement will be scrapped and there will be a new arrangement with the Queen receiving part of the money from the Crown Estate, the remainder going to the treasury. She has cut back on the number of people in the royal family who receive money from the Civil List already.
The Crown Estate dates from the days of William the Conqueror and is run as a business by a board of trustees.
A fuller explanation of how the royal household works is on www.royal.gov.uk
If anyone is to sit in judgment of the Royal Family, then it's best that they have all the information available.
I thought I read somewhere, back at the time of William and Katherine's wedding, that the Royal family actually SAVES the tax-payers money. They are a revenue-making unit - unlike the elected officials in the UK (and USA) who seem incapable of avoiding wasteful spending of tax-payer money.
Perhaps the details are to found in one of the many pages in that link - I didn't get too deeply into it yet.
The Royal Family is Great Britain's USP and does actually make a great deal of money for the nation through tourism. The recent shenanigans with politicians' and peers' expenses have only underlined the untrustiworthiness of those elected to govern us. We can look at, par exemple (cosmopolitan chez Madoc Leonard!), the French government. I'll say nothing about the new president as he hasn't time to settle in yet but, certainly in the recent past, it's been de rigueur (showing off now) for the French president to act as though he were a king. In 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy had his monthly salary doubled to Euro19K (gross) and the Elysee Palace's budget was raised from Euro32million to Euro100million (partly mitigated by the some staff having their salaries transferred from individual ministries to the palace). Hollande, now president, has made a 30% pay cut and will receive Euro14,910 per month, down from Euro21,300 per month gross.
HM the Queen does not have a private jet (Blair considered getting one for himself while he was PM, by the way) and her official yacht was taken from her in 1997. I went to see The Britannia when I was in Edinburgh in 2009 and can assure you that it was not that luxurious; the royal bedrooms were very simple indeed and the living areas very homely. She often travels by ordinary train to get to Sandringham now.
One thinks of the money wasted on and by European MPs, their enormous salaries and expenses and what do we get for it? A load of hot air (we might use them as a source of electricity!).
You'll have to educate me - what does USP stand for? Anti-monarchists frequently (and obviously erroneously) tout for abolition on economic grounds. Also, as the Queen only reigns - not rules - so there is no need to belly-ache about being governed by 'unelected people'. The people that are elected are less fiscally reponsible and more often bring scandal and disgrace. God Save Our Queen.
USP = Unique Selling Point/Proposition.
Your other comments are absolutely spot on. Just seen the concert outside Buckingham Palace - huge crowd with plenty of Red Dragons being waved and Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey (or Burly Chassis as my Dad calls her), Rob Brydon representing Wales. Will treasure vision of Rowan Williams singing All My Lovin' and Two Little Boys!
"Burly Chassis" hahahahaha! Your dad must be fun, that's hilarious!
I missed that - I assume it was Rolf Harris who performed it - with the Archbishop just singing along. LOL Like all of Rolf's stuff - good fun:
Yes, Rolf was asked to fill in some time by Lenny Henry, as Stevie Wonder was coming on stage. Even Princess Anne was singing along to it! I like Rolf too; he did a painting for a jubilee plate using his big brushes (the painting was big and reduced for the plate, before you ask!!). I also liked his painting of the Queen, which he did a couple of years ago - much better than Lucian Freud's!! She was really smiling in Rolf's painting.