Elizabeth tops rich list of royals in Europe
The British Queen Elizabeth is set to become one of the wealthiest crowned heads in Europe after the future of the British monarchy was secured in an historic deal with the British government that will give the House of Windsor a share of the £210m profits from government estates relinquished by George III.
The Civil List and the parliamentary system for funding the head of state are to be abolished, and from 2013, the queen will receive her funding directly from the Crown Estate, which owns £6bn of British land and business.
The deal means the queen, and her successors, will not have to dip into her private wealth to help fund her crumbling palaces and staff wages, reducing financial concerns for Prince Charles when he ascends the throne, and potentially leaving him with vast income, depending on the negotiations that will now follow.
Chancellor George Osborne told British parliament yesterday he had reached agreement with the royal household on funding arrangements. But pro-democracy campaigners said it would leave the sovereign with "untold riches".
In the short term the queen will be given no cash in addition to the annual £30m she receives from the government each year to support her public functions and will be expected to rely on her reserve funds built up over the past 10 years to fill any shortfall. She will, however, be given £1m to pay for Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
Mr Osborne said he wanted to sort out the constitutional funding issue once and for all.
He told MPs in his speech yesterday: "As I outlined at the budget, the 10-year settlement expired this year and no provision for a new settlement had been made when we entered office. Her Majesty graciously agreed to a one-year cash freeze in the Civil List for next year." (© Independent News Service)