(Jim Rogers: “I would urge you to sell any sterling you might have.“It’s finished. I hate to say it, but I would not put any money in the UK. It’s simple, the UK has nothing to sell.”
Well, maybe they have a few scraps...- AM)
From Socialism Today June 2002
Detailed figures are unavailable, but the royal household cost Britain's taxpayers around £35 million in 2001, including £6.5 million for the Queen's expenses. The royal estate comprises 285 houses and apartments. The following information only provides the merest glimpse of the phenomenal wealth in the hands of The Firm (what members of the monarchy refer to themselves as). On top of the payments these spongers receive from the government - through us - they are all wealthy landowners raking in profits from agriculture (120,000 hectares), land and property rents, marine assets and all manner of scams. The crown estates made a profit of £147.7 million after tax in 2001.
Queen Elizabeth II has personal wealth estimated at £1.15 billion. The Duchy of Lancaster brings in millions more. Her stamp and medal collections are worth £102 million, her jewels £72 million. She has £7.1 million-worth of cars, and racehorses valued at £3.6 million. Her official residences of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse are supplemented by private properties at Balmoral, Sandringham and Frogmore. Buckingham Palace has 600 staff, Windsor Castle 1,000 rooms.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, gets £379,000 from the civil list.
Charles, the Prince of Wales, has personal wealth estimated at £346 million. He resides at St James's Palace and Highgrove, although he will move into the Queen Mother's old London residence at Clarence House. Workers in Britain will pick up the bill for refurbishment, estimated at £5 million. Clarence House costs £500,000 a year in upkeep. Charles is also the Duke of Cornwall and his land there earned him £7 million in 2000. He paid £1.5 million in tax.
Andrew, the Duke of York, has personal wealth estimated at £3.5 million. He gets £249,000 from the civil list and a Royal Navy pension of £16,500. His residences are at Sunnyhill Park, the Royal Lodge at Windsor and Buckingham Palace.
Edward, the Earl of Wessex, has a personal fortune estimated at £9 million. He lives in a £10 million, 56-room mansion, Bagshot Park, set in 88 acres of woodland. When he and the countess moved in the Ministry of Defence funded £1.8 million repairs. Bagshot costs around £250,000 a year to run. Edward gets £249,000 from the civil list and was given £250,000 when the couple agreed to stop pursuing their business careers.
Anne, the Princess Royal, gets £228,000 from the civil list. Her residences are at Gatcombe Park and St James's Palace.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have no royal duties. They lived rent-free for the first 18 years they spent in Kensington Palace, where they have the use of nine reception rooms, seven bedrooms and the palace staff. They have just started paying for this accommodation - £67 a week!
The Queen Mother's personal fortune was estimated at £60 million. Her civil list allowance was £643,000. She put £14 million in a trust fund for her great-grandchildren and left a £4 million overdraft with Coutts bank. If she had to pay inheritance tax the overdraft would have been discounted. As it is, however, no tax is due - part of the agreement reached with John Major's government in 1992/93. The one property she had owned herself, the Castle of Mey, was handed over to a trust in 1996. Her paintings and jewels are estimated to be worth £16.5 million.