UK queen set for income boost after record profits

AP News
Posted: Jun 27, 2013 1:05 PM
UK queen set for income boost after record profits

LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace accounts showed Thursday that Queen Elizabeth II had a good year financially — the monarch will receive a 5 percent income boost following record portfolio profits.

The Crown Estate, including much of London's Regent Street and also Windsor Great Park, made 253 million pounds ($380 million) in the last financial year, a 5.2 percent anual increase.

The queen receives 15 percent of Crown Estate profits through a grant supplied by the British government that funds the monarch's spending as head of state.

The annual grant is currently 36.1 million pounds ($55 million) but will rise to 37.9 million pounds in 2014, representing a 5 per cent increase.

Keeper of the Privy Purse Alan Reid said in a statement that a significant part of the grant increase would be used on a backlog of essential property maintenance at working Royal Palaces.

Anti-monarchy activists Republic called on the queen to reject the 5 percent increase.

Spokesman Graham Smith said in a statement: "The Crown Estate is not - and never has been - the personal property of the royals. To claim that it should fund their lavish lifestyle is deceitful and dishonest. It's public money, it's not theirs."

The Crown Estate was created in 1760 when George III agreed the crown lands would be managed on behalf of the government.

The estate includes 15 retails parks across the country, around half of the U.K.'s coastal waters and royal parks such as Hyde Park in London.

Buckingham Palace accounts also revealed the cost to taxpayers of supporting the monarchy rose by 900,000 pounds ($1.37 million).