UK Queen down to her last million, palaces crumbling

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are reported to be in urgent need of repair.

London | Published: January 29, 2014 12:40:14 am

Queen Elizabeth II’s household finances are at a “historic low” with just £1 million left in reserve, even as the royal palaces are “crumbling” and in urgent need of repair.

A report by the Commons public accounts committee found that the Queen’s advisers were failing to control her finances and her courtiers have been advised to take money-saving tips from the Treasury, The Telegraph reported.

MPs said her advisers had overspent to such an extent that her reserve fund had fallen from £35 million in 2001 to just £1 million.

The Royal household had made efficiency savings of just 5 per cent over the past five years compared with government departments, cutting their budgets by up to a third.

MPs on the committee said the Treasury must “get a grip” and help to protect royal palaces from “further damage and deterioration”.

The 87-year-old Queen’s household finances are at a “historic low” even as the royal palaces were “crumbling” and in urgent need of repair, the report said.

Margaret Hodge, Labour chairman of the committee, was quoted as saying: “We believe the Treasury has a duty to be actively involved in reviewing the household’s financial planning and management — and it has failed to do so.”

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are reported to be in urgent need of repair.

Staff must catch rain in buckets to protect art and antiquities, while the Queen’s old boilers were contributing to bills of £774,000 pounds a year, the report said.

In April 2012, the Sovereign Grant replaced the old way of funding the Royal family through the Civil List and various government grants. The grant represents 15 per cent of net surplus income.

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