June 25

Monarchy a bargain

The British government, and presumably the British taxpayer, has once again made a particularly handsome profit from the monarchy.

In return for the income from the Crown Estate the British government funds the costs of the British Head of State which last year were 36.7 million pounds. For each Briton, this is about 61 pence.


According to the audited accounts just released in London, the surplus for the British taxpayer was over 140 million pounds! The sum paid does not include any salary or annuity for The Queen.

 Her Majesty is not paid -these are funds to maintain the official residences, the staff, the entertainment, and ceremonial and other functions.

 Nor is The Queen paid as Head of The Commonwealth, nor Queen of Australia, nor indeed as Queen of Canada or New Zealand.

 Until 1760, the costs of the Crown were paid from the Crown estate and certain other hereditary revenues. From that time the practice developed of a Sovereign agreeing to hand over these revenues during his or her reign to the Parliament in return for a Civil List. This has proved to be a bargain, at least in the present reign.

It does not take into account the considerable tourist revenue for the UK which the monarchy no doubt attracts, nor importantly the stability which flows from the Crown in countries as far apart as Canada and Australia.

Of the world’s seven oldest continuing democracies, five are constitutional monarchies. Elizabeth II is Queen of four of these. And although Her Majesty has been our Sovereign for over half the life of our Commonwealth of Australia, she has never asked for, nor have we ever paid anything for her service to the nation. For all of Her Realms , The Queen is an extraordinary bargain!


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