Queen Elizabeth Shedding Pounds

A new budget shows that the Royal Family is cutting spending.

BySHARYN ALFONSI And JESSICA HOPPER
July 05, 2010, 3:54 PM

July 5, 2010— -- Queen Elizabeth will have to wait another year to replace that old lead roof on Buckingham Palace. She, like so many of us, is having to pinch pennies.

According to a new report released by the Palace, Queen Elizabeth has cut her spending by $4 million in the last year. This year, the British government gave the $57.8 million taxpayer dollars to support the royal family. The monarchy this year cost each British citizen 94 cents.

Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse, said that the Queen and other royals are cutting costs and postponing essential maintenance because they are "acutely aware of the difficult economic climate."

The Queen is visiting New York on Tuesday, but the 84-year-old monarch and her 90-year-old husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, are making fewer foreign trips.

The royal family also sold the Queen's helicopter, freeing up more money.

The Royal Train, which costs over $75,000 every time it is used, is now only used by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The palace's budget has been slashed in other places too. The Queen's furnishing buget went from $607,080 to $455,310.

The budget for staff uniforms has been cut from $303,540 to $151,770. Even the amount the Queen spends on computers is being cut from $607,080 to $303,540.

Most cash-strapped homeowners can only dream of the $22 million budget the Queen is given to run her households. Still, royal watchers said that the belt-tightening is significant. Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said that the Queen is thriftier than she appears.

"You don't really realize that the Queen is going around Buckingham Palace turning off the lights, having fewer staff and in the winter turning the heating down,"Seward said. "She sometimes even writes letters in her very old fur coat."

Royal Flourishes

Those letters are written on stationery that costs $455,310 this year. The Queen can't resist some other royal flourishes. She shelled out $151,770 this year for carriage processions and $1,062,390 on garden parties.

To help pay for all that, the Queen pulled $9 million out of her reserve fund. Experts said that if she continues to do that, she'll be broke by 2012, the year she should be celebrating her sixtieth year on the throne.

There may be no money left to throw a party fit for a queen.

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