Queen Elizabeth is ‘broke’, she’s down to her ‘last £1 million’ (except not really)

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You guys, the Queen is BROKE. She’s down to her “last” £1 million!!! Clutch your royal collection pearls!! Actually, this is a somewhat serious situation, although there is a lot being left unsaid about the royal finances, which I’ll get to in a moment. Apparently, the Queen’s financial situation is so dire that now the UK’s Treasury is basically doing an audit of the royal finances and they’re going to help the Queen figure out what she’s doing wrong and how to replenish the royal coffers.

The Queen’s household finances were at a “historic low” with just £1 million left in reserve, MPs said on Monday. Her courtiers were advised to take money-saving tips from the Treasury. A report by the Commons public accounts committee found that the Queen’s advisers were failing to control her finances while the royal palaces were “crumbling”.

MPs said her advisers had overspent to such an extent that her reserve fund had fallen from £35 million in 2001 to just £1 million today.

The Royal household had made efficiency savings of just 5 per cent over the past five years compared with government departments, that are cutting their budgets by up to a third. MPs on the committee said the Treasury must “get a grip” and help to protect the royal palaces from “further damage and deterioration”.

Margaret Hodge, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: “We believe that the Treasury has a duty to be actively involved in reviewing the household’s financial planning and management — and it has failed to do so.”

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are reported to be in urgent need of repair. Staff must catch rain in buckets to protect art and antiquities, while the Queen’s old boilers were contributing to bills of £774,000 a year.

Mrs Hodge said: “The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog. It has not even costed the repair works needed to bring the estate back to an acceptable condition. Again, the Treasury has an oversight role here.”

In April 2012 the Sovereign Grant replaced the old way of funding the Royal family through the Civil List and various Government grants. The Sovereign Grant represents 15 per cent of the net surplus income of the Crown Estate, land holdings that generate money for the Treasury.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the sovereign grant had made the Queen’s funding “more transparent and scrutinised” and was resulting in a “more efficient use of public funds”. He said that repairing the royal palaces was a “significant financial priority”, and that the Royal household had almost doubled its income to £11.6 million since 2007.

The spokesman said: “The move to the Sovereign Grant has created a more transparent and scrutinised system, which enables the Royal household to allocate funding according to priorities. This has resulted in a more efficient use of public funds.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “The new arrangements established by the Sovereign Grant Act have made the royal finances more transparent than ever while providing the long term stability necessary for good planning.”

[From The Telegraph]

The Labour MPs point out that a tourist hot-spot like the Tower of London is able to make money for its upkeep by staying open a large part of the year for tourism, and that’s what the Queen needs to do too – open up her properties to more (paying) tourists and open gift shops all over the place, I’m assuming. The Telegraph lists all of the repairs needed to be done to some of the royal properties, mostly Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and how the Queen hasn’t even started because there’s NO MONEY to do it.

The problem with all of this is that no one even wants the Queen to dip into her personal financial reserves, which are said to be extensive, or the reserves of “the Crown” – which are owned by “the people,” and for which the Queen is merely the current caretaker. Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are Crown Properties, and if push came to shove, the Crown (the government and the Queen) could choose to sell off other crown properties (just a fraction of the Crown jewelry collection or just a few pieces of artwork) to finance the refurbishment of BP and Windsor Castle. As for the Queen’s personal wealth… it’s said that the Queen has a personal wealth of mid to high nine-figures, mostly through inherited property like Sandringham and Balmoral and her personal jewelry collection, etc. Let’s not clutch our pearls and act like the Queen is down to her last one million OVERALL. She’s not. That being said, the Queen does need to figure out how to get more bang for her buck overall (gift shops!).

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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69 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth is ‘broke’, she’s down to her ‘last £1 million’ (except not really)”

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  1. V4Real says:

    Oh boy, Rich People Problems.

    • FLORC says:

      You said it. How will she ever manage to balance her funds so that she never has to touch her several seerate routes of financial rainy day funds. That’s her money!

      Yes, more properties should be opened up for tours, but this is a non-issue. If not going the gift shop and tour route I wonder if taxes will be raised?

  2. littlestar says:

    Wow, this is really interesting! Cannot wait to hear what our Royal commentators have to say about this :) .

    If that really is true about the boilers being THAT inefficient, why haven’t they replaced them long ago? I realize it’s expensive upfront, but in the long run saves so much money. And are they seriously catching rain in buckets in the Palace? I find that fishy.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Littlestar,

      Mismanagement of funds happens all over. Sad. Very sad.

      And I wouldn’t be surprised with rain water in buckets — that’s smart actually.

    • fairy godmother says:

      Is this story a repeat of one from several months (or year) ago? As I recall the queen had to go cap in hand so to speak to request an increase resulting in a substantial increase@ 2.2 mil- something like that.
      I thought it was disgusting then considering the rapid rate and decline of the public during these economic hardships such as feeding their families and trying to keep a roof over their heads. Last winter I lost count of how many elderly froze to death because they could not afford to heat their home and/or lack of food. Britain is hardly a 3rd world country so imo it is a disgrace when the queen’s staff cannot manage with the excessive budget they have. HM has been considered frugal in the past so what the heck are they spending money on when staff get minimal wages? They really should be transparent and accountable in all matters especially financially, but Chuckie has managed to keep the curtain closed again.
      Time for Liz and Chuck to open their personal piggy banks and duchies to get things up to par. The catching of dripping water in buckets in palaces has been reported over the past 3-5 years so how much does she expect the public to give? If one cannot manage or make due with the obscene salary they get we are all up sh!t creek! Rich people problems-

    • fairy godmother says:

      @ the boilers- So much for Chuck promoting environmentally friendly and inexpensive energy to make the properties more efficient.

      Funny his properties have been working on this and Balmoral is efficient along with trying to do so with Sandringham. Oh wait, those are the RF’s personal properties! Silly me!

      Time for the public to have a board that oversees the nation’s palaces and make certain they are up to par since royals have chosen to disregard all. When palaces were recently open to the public for a limited time the monies made was suppose to help. What did they do with it?

  3. HappyMom says:

    So maybe William, Kate and Harry branding their names is making more sense now-they know this is coming.

  4. Kelly says:

    AHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHA

    Just end this ridiculous tradition of unfair privilege and power already.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yeah, I would be really pissed if I lived in the UK, having to support an uppercrust lineage, for no other reason than lineage. Although, admittedly, this happens in the US, but the wealth welfare is slightly more subtle. Slightly.

      • BreeinSEA says:

        I’m torn on that and I don’t even live there. Butbif my family had a history like theirs and worked hard to keep it, I would want to continue that tradition and protect it. I’m not sure if future leaders will be so humble about their role in their familys history. I think its like passing down a business but with huge responsibilities.

  5. Luca26 says:

    They are just high class parasites I’m so glad my tax money doesn’t go to their upkeep.

  6. Tapioca says:

    As a UK citizen I would suggest getting rid of 75% of our useless, greedy, self-centred MPs (Members of Parliament) and MEPs (Members of European Parliament) and splitting the savings 50:50 between our hospitals/education and Queenie, who is still being dragged out in public way past her retirement.

    Yes, she was born into priviledge, but so was Paris Hilton, and at least Her Madge knows how to behave herself!

    • Kelly says:

      The royal family is even more useless, self-centered and greedy, at least politicians pretend to do something, the royals are just born and somehow that makes them deserving of praise, admiration, money and power ?? ???

      What happened to logic ?

      I always laugh at the UK (United KINGDOM, lolololol) promoting democracy though. I mean, you still haven’t managed to get rid of legalized monarchy.

    • Milla B. says:

      First, Paris Hilton money is private. She owes nothing to american citizens.

      Second, Politicians have a job. Don’t forget that a country without politicians is undoubtedly a dictatorship. If you don’t like you should change them. I mean, UK is a democracy right?

      And finaly: “Queenie, who is still being dragged out in public way past her retirement”. Retirement that she avoids like the bubonic plague. She likes be in charge. She likes be The Queen. I fail to see her as a poor granny doing things against her free will. I don’t even think she would like to see herself in that way.

      I understand what you want to say. The queen is not the biggest problem that UK faces right now. But the whole “Give me them over the Kardashian” or “Better have a queen than a president or any politician” is silly because don’t make any sense. The monarchy is more complex than that.

  7. Renee says:

    I’m down to my last million pounds too. Heeeelp meeeeeeee!

  8. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    This is off topic and shallow, but she can wear the hell out of a brooch.

  9. KatInChicago says:

    I was at the Tower and one of the Beefeaters was asked by a teenage boy tourist “Where are the dungeons?”
    Beefeater replied “A worse fate, the dungeons are now (dramatic shudder) a gift shop.”

  10. Chrissy says:

    Even though I admire the Queen’s commitment to service and that she does live frugally (by royal standards), this sounds fishy to me. Surely they can sell off some of their properties, jewels, clothes, art work, etc if they are so hard up. I think this is a play for the Queen not to pay income tax. The value that the Royal Family has to the British economy can’t be that great that the people would be willing to dole out even more money to the Royals – bad timing I’d say!

  11. Meerkat says:

    I suggest Brenda opens a cake shop in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Young Master James could provide the cakes and marshmallows and Kate could serve behind the counter. A winner! (Or else, as they are all millionaires, they could pay for their own house repairs. We’re all in it together remember, Windsors.)

  12. Suze says:

    Start selling stuff.

    Maybe Charles is moving to tackle this issue. It does sound like he needs to step in and start cleaning house with regard to staff. Hey, he runs the profitable Duchy so he’s the guy to get the royal houses in order.

    I do admire HerMaj, but she is older and there are probably people who have worked for her for decades who are engaging in magical thinking regarding finances, or just riding out their years to retirement.

  13. CC says:

    If they kept the properties opened longer in the year, but the way it is certain periods are barred from being opened, regardless of them being in residence. They really need to figure this out. I don’t see why they’re not open more throughout the year, especially Buckingham, and especially considering how, supposedly, the queen actually dislikes being in residence there. With her age and increasing delegating on Charles, she could make things so she’d spend more time where she actually likes, Like Balmoral and her private residence, Sandringham. And stop keeping so many crown properties “on retainer” for her use. Especially if she doesn’t even like being there.

  14. Inky says:

    I really wish they would just get rid of the monarchy, it just drains our tax money. They are happy cutting funding to essential services that improve peoples standards of living, to help people get out of poverty, out of basically everything that doens’t affect the upper class, but it is a big drama to even cut the Monarchy’s funding by a ridiculously small percentage in comparison.

    They go on about how much money having the Royals brings to the UK through tourism, but surely what people come to see are the monuments, rather than the Royalty themselves? I have never seen a member of the Royal Family and I have lived in the UK all my life. What are the chances of a Tourist seeing them?

    OK, rant done. Hopefully it makes sense.

    • Kiddo says:

      I completely agree. If they are living relics of history, perhaps the UK can come up with a ‘Royal petting zoo or museum’. Where tourists can feed them and interact. Just kidding, but I agree that it’s a tough pill to swallow to pay to keep people in the luxuries that they have become accustomed to, simply because they were born into luxuries from another age in the first place; especially when it competes with social safety nets. We have plenty of royals here in the US too, but people like to call it a free market, pfft.

      As an aside, as a tourist, I have no interest in feeding the royals. I would be interested in the castles and such, but I never understood the fascination with the family to begin with.

    • littlestar says:

      That makes perfect sense. I haven’t travelled yet to the UK – London is at the top of my list of places to visit. I want to go for the touristy stuff (Tower of London, food, etc). The Royal Family doesn’t even factor into it, so I too find the excuse “the BRF promotes tourism so that’s why we should fund them” flimsy at best.

  15. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Even the properties that are open are pretty craptacular by tourism/castle gawking standards. In Balmoral you get to see like one dinky little dining room, and this is when they are not home, it’s ridiculous. Castle tourism is big in the U.K. but the royal residences don’t compete with other places. They still must be peeing away an awful lot on private jets and diamond polishing though to blow through £33 million (that’s like $50 million!!). Castle May is the only decent one that you get to look around but I don’t think that’s a residence so not sure how much dosh they make from that. The Queen needs to hawk some Twinings Tea and earn her keep lol. I do think they are of value tourism and national show pony wise, it’s about all Britain has to impress other countries at this point. But the sheer gluttonous opulence, appearance wise anyway, is not going to go down well with the British public in the current economic climate.

    • My2Pence says:

      My other comment seems to have been eaten, so I apologize in case this ends up being a duplicate post. All of this is tied up in the public-owned vs. private-owned debate I’d think. Since all of their wealth tracks back to taxpayers (or serfs) in some way over 1000 years, is any of the “private” property really the property of the BRF?

      Mey was purchased by the Queen Mum after the death of her husband, with what money I do not know. She used it as a summer residence and stayed a bit during the rest of year. Before she died, she established a trust to keep it running, perhaps with help from Charles? It seems to have been more logically managed, with tours, gardens, rental for events, and even places you can stay on the property for vacation.

      I thought Charles inherited the Castle of Mey and Birkhall when she passed, but I’m only finding mention of him inheriting Birkhall. He visits Mey once a year and has been very engaged in trying to build up business and a “brand” for the area. He seems to understand that these things – especially the “private” properties – need to support themselves.

      I think Buckingham Palace is State property used by the head of state and their representatives – much like the White House. I think Duke and Duchess of York had an apartment there, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex do too. The President of the US doesn’t pay the upkeep on the White House, but it is run (hopefully) as efficiently as possible. What is needed is to take a business approach to these properties to make them support themselves.

      Kensington is a particularly odd case that doesn’t seem to be being discussed.

      According to the History Royal Palaces website:
      “Although the palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, we receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors.” The other places HRP oversees (Tower of London, Kew) are open to the public but Kensington is not. Even more reason to ensure that fair market value is being paid for rent on those spaces, and that that rent is not paid by the taxpayers.

      That could include charging fair market rent to anyone who lives in those State-owned properties. I think this has happened to other members of the BRF and staff who live at Kensington, but not sure it has been applied equally. ie. Bill and Kate Middleton, what’s the rent on that 40+ room space at Kensington and who pays it?

      BRF finances are veiled behind such a web of secrecy, who knows how all this will end up?

      • LAK says:

        Senior royals don’t pay rent. The deal being that they carry out duties instead. So WK don’t pay rent on that mega flat.

      • My2Pence says:

        @LAK. Thanks, I didn’t know that! I knew some did pay rent, but didn’t know that some of them get off scot free. All that talk of WK not being full-time royals, only being the heir to the heir so don’t have to work,, etc., when they are considered “senior royals” all along. So their combined 81 hours of work last year in exchange for that entire side (40+ rooms) of Kensington Palace? Now that’s a deal that needs to be investigated by this commission.

    • Ldelta says:

      I agree with Mrs. Darcy. I had the pleasure of visiting the UK for three weeks this past summer. We toured both Buckingham and Windsor. I was surprised at the state of both but more so with the Windsor Castle. It was a shame to see everything in disrepair. The rooms looked like they had not been touched in a few years, the carpets were dirty from traction, there was a very odd musty smell(I know this castle is old but…I have toured older castles that did not have a smell), the rooms just looked dingy. I was expecting way too much I guess. The gift shops were great though!

      Buckingham was definitely better. No smells or dingy look. I can report they had buckets out down some of the hallways.. Haha. Yikes!
      Overall the castle is very pretty, but you can tell there is need for repairs compared with other castles around Europe!

      They should definitely look into keeping the castles open more than one month out of the year! I was there from July-August and the lines were pretty crazy. Imagine if they kept the castles open for 5-6 months at a time. $$$$$$$

      • littlestar says:

        Wow, that is just awful. Now that several commenters on here have confirmed it, I do believe that there are buckets catching water at Buckingham :( . My family owns a restoration company (mold, water damage etc.) so I can’t only imagine the internal damage that is being done to the Palace as it rains each time. So IF they ever address these issues, it will likely be even more of a mess and more costly than just the external damage a person can see now.

  16. Bread and Circuses says:

    This may be why Charles recently made a BIG grab for the reins.

    His mother and father are quite elderly, and it’s a big job to keep properties so extensive in good order. It may indeed be time for someone else to be in charge of the family finances.

  17. LAK says:

    Every time this comes up in parliament and the MPs suggest cost cutting exercises, i can’t help laughing.

    Government and the treasury are the biggest wasters of public funds. fact.

    As for the palaces, the government is wasteful in how they handle their maintenence and repair. As an example, KP was renovated to the tune on £12M for 2 years leading upto official grand re-opening in 2012. And yet, apparently WK’s part of KP required £1M in additional renovations despite that prior £12M.

    That said, HM will never touch her personal reserves except in a crisis. This is how she was forced to pay income tax in exchange for repairs on Windsor council back in 1992. Additionally she was forced to open up BP for a few months each summer. She’s let those Palaces rot whilst putting out a begging bowl as if there are no other options.

    I have no sympathy for her and i laugh at the ridiculous MPs.

    • K says:

      The thing that makes me snort is the fact that it’s only the palaces we own and fund that are in this state. Balmoral and Sandringham will be in tip-top condition, because they’re her own property. And if they’d replaced those damn boilers 20 years ago when they had the money, with modern condensing systems, they would have saved more than half a million each and every year since. I can’t help feeling that they were meant to be custodians of those palaces, and they took the attitude that it was for the state to supply extra funds if they wanted major repairs rather than using the damn money they were given for the purpose for which it was given.

      I’m also more than a little annoyed that we have spent such vast amounts of money on the Cambridge’s place at Kensington, when the Queen is 88 and the chances of their inhabiting it for longer than ten years – if that – are low. And as soon as she dies, they move into Clarence House. We then have to fund the same sort of major repairs on Buckingham Palace as we did Clarence House before Charles moved in, and Kensington last year. Which will cost a staggering amount of money.

  18. LadySlippers says:

    The problem with this article (and others) is the fact that they are only skimming the issue. And not tacing the overall problem.

    Royal Finances are very tricky and that’s putting it mildly. The biggest issue here isn’t that all the Crown properties aren’t making money (they are) it’s the fact they’ve been do poorly managed and the money’s been pissed away. You can make money hand over fist but if you’re flushing it down the toilet — who cares?

    I have never been a fan of the Royals turning over the Royal property for the government to ‘manage’ because clearly, it was mismanaged. And often the same damn thing happens when private individuals manage things as well. (It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place)

    There has to be a better solution than constant mismanagement from both sides.

    Can’t there?

    • FLORC says:

      There can and should be LS, but whose who have been raised with absolute wealth will never understand why it can’t work out forever. Luxuries become the norm and it will seem impossible for some to envision their lives without it.

      And no one will fess up and admit they fudged some numbers or are over paid.

      • LadySlippers says:

        This is actually a government issue of poor money management. The Royals look like they are to blame but had that control wrested from them years ago. This blame sits squarely on the UK’s government NOT the BRF.

        (You have to sorta understand the finances. My friend on tumblr did an awesome post about this a few months back)

      • LadySlippers says:

        It’s funny Florc, I’ve been reading this whole line and not one person seems to get that the Royals and the Royal properties make a TON of money.

        The Royal properties ‘pay’ HM by means of the Soveriegn Grant (thanks blu hare for the name) formerly known as the Civil List which is meant to pay out monies to other Roysls and all their staff. HM (really the the Soveriegn Grant) gets a *small percentage* of the funds from all the Royal’s property. The bulk of the money the British government is supposed to manage for the nation and should be used for upkeep and such. That’s the money that is being mismanaged.

        The BRF is pretty much self sustaining but it doesn’t look that way because of how the monies have been set up — hence the furor over the Royals being expensive. If anyone wants, I can link you to a fantastic tumblr page that explains this in more depth than I did here.

        But the money the Royal properties make should be more than enough to support the BRF and then some.

      • Lilix40 says:

        Oh, LadySlippers, I’d be interested in that! Thank you!

  19. fairy godmother says:

    How amusing and great timing. The former Belgium King who recently abdicated for his son has reportedly declared he cannot manage to survive on 760,000 pounds per year! It was a decrease from his original salary of 933,000 pounds per year. Such hardships we should all have ! Lol!
    I have no idea who pays for their residence, utilities, food, clothes, travel expenses so perhaps I am being harsh….. no thought not!
    (those are the figures that have been reporteded-fyi).

  20. Anon says:

    Prince William going to take those agriculture classes always makes think of these guys. Farming (or managing one) is so much more than people think it is… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CEocTtbt14

  21. Sixer says:

    Can I just yawn at yet more shameless headline-grabbing self promotion by Margaret Hodge? Whoever let her chair the Treasury committee should be taken out and shot.

    ALL this is is the regular parliamentary scrutiny of an area of spending. Quite routine and every area gets a thorough bitching to keep it on its toes.

  22. Luca26 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t her personal fortune just land and booty either seized from the commonwealth or fortunes plundered in war or taxes collected from the subjects over the past millennia? I mean sure it isn’t her fault that she was born into a system of monarchy but pretended her personal wealth isn’t also mostly the wealth of the UK is silly.

    • K says:

      No. The Crown Estates, which is where her grant payments come from, were originally as you say: money the monarch obtained through force and then used to run the state with, so Parliament, civil service, courts, armies etc as well as a smaller amount they spent on their own court, at a time when the monarch had real political power. For the last 200 years, the state has had a right to that money, and has just paid every new monarch a chunk of the income to do their job. It used to be called the Civil List, and be voted on by Parliament, but it is now directly linked to Crown Estates income, and called the Sovereign Grant.

      The Hanovarians overspent horribly, but when Victoria married Albert he took charge of the running of her palaces and made them efficient, and then started making massive savings. He was able to build new palaces (Balmoral, Osborne which was sold after V died, and Sandringham for their eldest child), buy art, and lay up reserves. The Duchy of Cornwall properties, which are as you say rooted in land grabs (but so are most huge aristo fortunes if the family are an old one – the Percy family were involved in arguments with Henry V and Henry VIII; it’s only very recent aristocratic families such as the Westminsters who made their pile fair and square in business) also provide a whopping income for every heir, who usually saves quite a bit of it to one side before reaching the throne, traditionally speaking. And as Victoria was only 18 when she became Queen, and was in her early 40s when her son reached his majority, she was able to take that money while he grew up as well. That’s where the foundation of their riches, personally, comes from. Still public money, but good management of that public money.

      The Crown Estates is the sort of thing you mean, but that isn’t actually their money, and it hasn’t been in their hands for over 200 years now. It’s in the hands of the state.

  23. chaochao says:

    She’s living off the public. Boot her off, I say!

  24. dominique says:

    Yet there was money available for the Kensington Palace renovation of William & Kate’s place? And of course money will be found for Harry too when he, if rumour serves, moves out of Nott Cott and into KP proper…

    Then there was Prince Charles, who managed to scrounge up the funds to impulsively buy (and completely restore) yet another palace and all of its furnishings – sight unseen! Now it’s used to host board meetings and retreats for Charles’ pet charities and employs a number of servants….his version of community investment? Imagine if that money had instead been used to build local hospitals, schools, job training centers, daycares, entrepreneurial grants… etc… but I digress. Perhaps I’m just heartless, having never grown up in a castle.

    This is from Architectural Digest but it was also mentioned in the recent Time Magazine profile: “Thanks to Prince Charles’s leadership—one of his foundations pledged a $40-million loan, allied with $50 million raised from other sources—Dumfries was acquired by a specially created trust and saved, not just for the British people, but for anyone who cares about great architecture and decoration. The prince’s job was not yet done, though. If saving the house was a major drama, then restoring it became the not-to-be-missed final act.”

    Forgive my meandering, but the point I’m trying to make is that if Buck House is disintegrating, it looks less like a matter of budgeting and more like a matter of priorities.

  25. Peta says:

    More money? There are plenty of ways. Two words for Buck Palace: personalized marshmallows.

  26. Lucky Charm says:

    Perhaps if Wills & Kate didn’t do such extensive redecorating on several properties (and just lived with the paint & wallpaper for awhile until they could afford it), and cut down on the number of vacations they take each year (take just one or two instead of eight or nine). That would certainly free up some money. :-)

  27. Caroline says:

    The monarchy is such an archaic institution. I have no problems with people who spend lavishly with money they (or their parents etc) earned, but to spend taxpayers money in such a lavish fashion? NO justification.

  28. Xantha says:

    Ugh, this is one of my biggest pet peeves: Rich people acting like they are broke to get out of spending their own personal money. And considering that the Queen and the rest of the BRF wouldn’t have that private money to begin with if it weren’t for the British taxpayers, this just makes it even worse.

    Such cheapness coming from a Royal is really unbecoming.