Pay Freeze for Queen in UK Austerity Measures

Dec 5, 2011 7:26am

In a sign of dire economic times across the pond, Buckingham Palace is now doing some budget busting, with the queen herself due for a pay freeze and Prince Charles set to foot the bill for some major expenses.

Queen Elizabeth II will reportedly see a pay freeze until 2015, as new austerity measures in the U.K. have cut funding for the royal household. She reportedly receives about $47 milllion a year taxpayer funding.

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Taxpayer funding for royal travel and royal palaces has also been put on the chopping block, so British taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s travels and security. The tab for the duke and duchess of Cambridge’s expenses will now be picked up by Prince Charles. The new measures also will lead to fewer royal parties and events, and no repairs for the royal palaces.

The queen has even approved renting out fancy rooms at St. James’s Palace as party venues during the 2012 London Olympics, according to the Associated Press. Companies that hold royal warrants – those that have longstanding ties to the royal family – will be given the opportunity to rent the spaces.

“You don’t really realize, but the queen is going around Buckingham Palace, turning off the lights, having fewer staff, even turning the heating down. She sometimes even writes letters in her very own fur coat,” Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Royal magazine, told ABC News.

Under the new agreement, the queen will see 15 percent of the profits every two years from the Crown Estate, whose portfolio includes Regent Street, Windsor Great Park and more than half the country’s shoreline, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

The move is the latest by Parliament to cut the U.K.’s major deficit problem. The country’s new coalition government, led by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, introduced a series of major austerity cuts when it took power in 2010, slashing a number of programs.

Parliament does, however, recognize the huge draw that the royal family brings to the country, ushering in $785 million to Great Britain every year.

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