Queen Elizabeth fired four senior staffers, royal staff morale is ‘at rock-bottom’


Here in America, civil service jobs are often considered to be a pillar of middle-class living. Civil service jobs come with great benefits, more job security than the private sector and general economic stability. I feel like royal-service jobs are probably seen the same way in Britain – the jobs don’t pay very well, but the jobs come with great benefits (royal housing, personal gifts from the Queen) and relative stability. Except for right now. Apparently, the Queen just went and fired four of her senior officials in what is presumed to be a “cost-cutting measure” because their jobs were redundant. Whoa. Apparently, morale is at “rock-bottom” at Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace is believed to have axed at least four of the Queen’s senior officials in the last few months, despite them being long-serving employees. The employees, some of whom have young families, allegedly faced leaving their Royal Household homes without anywhere else to live. The redundancies are to be part of sweeping cost-cutting measures throughout the Palace, according to reports.

According to a source inside the palace, morale was at “rock-bottom – the worst I have ever known” among the royal employees. Another said: “The Queen knows they have been made redundant, although she is probably not aware of just how badly her staff have been treated in the process.”

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said costs were constantly reviewed and in “rare instances” staff were made redundant, but strongly denied claims of low morale. She declined to comment on whether at least four officials had been axed or if porters were no longer being paid for overtime. She said: “As a public institution, scrutinised by Parliament, the Royal Household constantly reviews structures and staffing to ensure that it is run in the most effective and efficient way possible. In rare instances this can involve redundancies; those affected are routinely offered a severance package and support, including retraining.”

Last year the Public Accounts Committee accused the Royal Household of “mismanaging” its finances. The Queen received £37.9 million in public funding from The Sovereign Grant this year, from which she must cover the cost of official duties on behalf of the nation as well as run her official residences. The Palace spokeswoman said that internal surveys “consistently show that employees are proud to work for the Royal Household and represent the Queen. Morale at Buckingham Palace continues to be high, with low staff turnover.”

Another source within the Palace told the Daily Mail that other senior staff may have left of their own accord because of concerns over the “restructuring”. The source said: “Staff are rarely made redundant… so to see four people go in almost as many months is shocking.”

The newspaper also reported that the Buckingham Palace’s porters have had their overtime stopped as part of the cuts but are still being expected to undertake the same level of work.

[From The Telegraph]

The cries of financial mismanagement came around the same time last year that reports came out about the actual cost of the renovation to Kensington Palace Apartment 1, which is Prince William and Kate’s London residence. Will and Kate blew through £4 million just for the KP renovation with the understand that they would live there close to full time, so obviously as soon as the renovation was done, they declared that they would be living at Anmer Hall full-time. The Queen actually put off several much-needed renovations to BP and other royal residences so that KP could be finished quickly for Will and Kate.

As for these fired senior staffers… I have no doubt that they were redundant. I also have little doubt that the royal households and offices of both the Queen and the Prince of Wales are bloated, redundant messes, and that Charles is likely trying to phase out some of his mother’s courtiers and phase in some of his own. And I also have no doubt that in this transition period, and given the consistent leaks about William and Kate’s work-shy ways, there IS a morale problem overall in all of the royal staffs.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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99 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth fired four senior staffers, royal staff morale is ‘at rock-bottom’”

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  1. Deana says:

    Perhaps it’s time for the Royal Family to be called redundant. Or more to the point, obsolete.

    • Sarah says:

      That won’t happen while Elizabeth is Queen. Maybe Charles or William at some point, but I don’t think there is any way the British people would toss Queen Elizabeth.

    • celine says:

      Exactly. These people are parasites of the hard working people who hold real jobs, without the accoutrements the whole entitled monarchy has. Such an archaic institution in this day and age.

    • Tristan says:

      Fyi in many countries of a similar size & economy to the UK, having a President costs those countries multiples of what it costs the UK to finance the Royal family. For example, the Italian President, who is also mainly a figurehead, costs the Italian Republic something like 10 times the cost of the Queen. In addition, if one factors in the revenues generated by the UK from all things Royal, such as tourism, then one realises that the Crown bankrolls itself many times over. The same cannot be said for Presidents

      • notasugarhere says:

        The royal tourism argument is consistently proven false. The UK has a Prime Minister with high costs. He appears to many people to be fulfilling a role similar to a president, even if politically it is very different. Basically, the UK is paying for two presidential-like figures, plus all of their staff (actual staff plus the BRF working royals).

        HM is a figurehead, a unifying force, and hopefully a neutral voice of reason. That is an important role, but it does not need to cost this much nor be inherited. It could become a position like the Governor General of Canada or Australia, and be both egalitarian and much less expensive.

      • Cricket says:

        But what of the Prime Minister’s costs? How do they factor in? To compare HRH with a President in cost doesn’t seem to be equivalent when there is also a PM.

      • Sixer says:

        Cricket – it does in most cases. The Italian president isn’t head of government as well as being head of state. Same, for example, in France and Ireland. The US is unusual in combining those roles. So the costs are directly comparable.

        However, most countries spend MUCH less on the offices of the heads of state than the UK does on the royals.

        Comparisons that favour the BRF only ever use the Sovereign Grant money. This excludes the cost of protection and all sorts of other things. Add those in and you’re on at least £200m. And that doesn’t include the extra tourism revenue that would be gained from having Buckingham Palace et al revert to fully public ownership.

        And £200m is 2.5 times what France spends on its president and something like 50x what Ireland spends on its president.

      • Timbuktu says:

        thanks for making those points! I’m always a bit puzzled by the “royal tourism” argument. I think if you were to shut down monarchy tomorrow, people would still flock to London to see the palaces and towers, and yes, so many more would be able to be open for tourists that I think for a while that may actually cause a surge in tourism: all those obsessed with royals may jump on a chance to see how they actually live.
        Yes, you may eventually lose out on the events, such as royal weddings and births, but those happen fairly infrequently (the last big royal wedding before Will&Kate was Diana&Charles, right? And that was what, 30 years ago? Hardly a reliable source of income for Britain).
        I mean, France has been without royals for quite some time, I haven’t noticed a shortage of tourists at the Louvre or Versailles…

      • Mary-Alice says:

        PM and President are not the same. They do not replace each other, they both exist . One is head of state, the other of the government. In my native country the expenses are indeed higher than for the Royals, having both a President and PM, of course. Counting only the President versus the Royals – no but then he is one with a wife and a kid, not a whole “famiglia” with a few residences. LOL

    • Mia V. says:

      Redundant royal families aren’t fired, their head rolls.

    • TX says:

      Yup. I’d say it’s time to be done with them.

    • jammypants says:

      hit the nail on the head

    • seesittellsit says:

      Second that, and have +1,000!

    • Anne says:

      Hasn’t it been reported that Charles intends to “streamline” the Royal Family when he assumes the throne? I think they are sensitive (somewhat!) to these concerns.

      W&K should be more active, going forward, IMO. From recent reports, it appears they are intent on a quiet, private family life.

  2. bettyrose says:

    Can any Brit advise? Equivalent U.S. civil servants couldn’t be fired, possibly not even laid off, but they could be offered a very favorable early retirement or huge severance package and politely asked to go.

    • Mrs. Wellen Melon says:

      In which parallel universe do U.S. Civil servants receive huge severance packages? Ver favorable early-retirement packages? Polite invitations to please not come to work any longer?

      Not in the state of Wisconsin. Our governor has set a tone of disrespect and disdain for state workers receiving pink slips.

      • bettyrose says:

        CA, I guess. An upper level civil servant who couldn’t be fired for her awful behavior was pushed into early retirement. She made out like a bandit by screwing a system designed to protect workers. So I know they can’t be fired easily.

      • InsertNameHere says:

        I’m with Melon here – where are you getting that information from? Most government employment is At Will – meaning that your job exists at the will of the employer, and they can take it whenever they so choose. That includes Federal and State employment.

        Also, Melon…Scott Walker is such a douche. I’ve got family up there, and watching him ruin that state makes me physically ill. #solidarity

      • Delta Juliet says:

        I’m glad someone brought this up. I work for a municipality of about 20,000 people. My benefits are so-so, nothing great. They increase the % I pay of my healthcare every year. I have not had a raise over 1% in the 11 years I have worked here, and many years there is no raise at all. Every budget season they discuss cutting positions like it’s NOT someone’s livelihood they are discussing, and yet they have no problem berating and verbally abusing staff because, after all “my taxes pay your salary”.

        We are in the middle of budget season now. They are discussing taking away vacation time from staff who have already earned it, cutting 7 jobs ( for the 3rd year in a row) and once again, no raises.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Bettyrose, few civil servants are upper level. Upper level government positions are usually political appointees. They get the job because of favors to the governor or legislators. If a political appointee held a civil service position in the same agency prior to appointment, depending on the state law, she may have retained a right to return to the civil service position when the appointment ended. Any settlement would be a buy out of that right.

    • Hearthering says:

      Ponytail pretty much covered it. From last recall of dealing with employment law, the statutory minimum used to be 1 (1.5) wks per year of service up to 15&above years = 15 weeks pay.

      It sounds as if assistance is being offered re retraining but that redeployment has not been an option or has been turned down by the individual employees. Again, if being offered an ‘in firm’ redeployment there must be efforts as to equivalency and a similar wks per yrs of service equation is used giving the employee the time to consider if they want to accept the terms of a redeployment on offer or take the redundancy package (be it merely a statutory or enhanced offer/settlement).

      In this case, as the posts may not be particularly well paid (relative to other sectors’ skills equivalents) the far greater loss may be in the ‘grace and favour’ non-financial remunerations (accommodation having been mentioned as one). They can be harder to account for/make good on in a redundancy reckoning yet are often of the greatest immediate concern to the employee (and their families) under notice.

      /Sorry this seems out of thread/stream order. My phone is weird on this site that way.

    • Ashling says:

      Could you elaborate on your statement with some examples? As an American, this does not ring true to me.

      • Hearthering says:

        Ashling, examples from me? I think I’ve messed up post order so not sure?

      • Jadzia says:

        Ashling, I teach American and English employment law, and it looks to me like Hearthering is talking about the statutory redundancy/severance formula that is used in the UK. As we all know, in the US, you are generally entitled to bupkis unless you are in the generally more advantageous (but rare) situation of being protected by a union or employment contract with relevant provisions.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      U.S. civil servants are fired and laid off all the time. They do have legal rights and there is a process but if the process is followed properly, they lose their jobs and unlike the private sector, there is never a severance package.

      • Anne tommy says:

        In Ireland, the chief architects of the economic crisis were the banks and speculators and borderline con artists. A wheeling and a dealing. But the employees who were made to suffer were and are in the public sector. The press tried to make the public sector some sort of scapegoat and were bizarrely successful. My salary in 2015 is very significantly below what it was in 2008, and my terms and conditions are worse, whereas prices are very significantly above the 2008 level. The real culprits of the downturn have got off scot free. Very unfair.

        And royalty is an outmoded and anti democratic expensive side show.

    • bettyrose says:

      Lilacflowers, the article referenced upper level employees so that was my basis for comparison. Even so, in unionized public sector jobs, the rank & file can’t be laid off either, so budget management has to find other cost saving measures. I’m realizing from all these comments though that not all public employees are unionized. I didn’t know that. I’ve never heard of civil servants being at will, but if they aren’t unionized I guess that’s possible.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Most in my state are at-will, union or not. When they decide they’re done with you, you’re out the door with no severance. In many places, you’re lucky if you get any pay-out for your accumulated vacation or sick time.

      • icerose says:

        In UK uncolonised government funded organisations they usually go to a reduced pay off of or restructuring to reduce staff -seen it happen many times

    • Betsy says:

      Civil servants most certainly can be fired. I worked for the Federal Government and they covered the firing process in orientation. It isn’t common like business layoffs are, but it is certainly possible.

  3. Shambles says:

    I came for the pictures of the Queen. She’s a jewel.

    • HoustonGrl says:

      A jewel who just put four people out of work while leading a life of luxury and extravagance.

      • Shambles says:

        I’m pretty ignorant on these matters, which is why I expressed instrest solely in the photos of the Queen, on a purely shallow level. But my impression has always been that the Queen is largely a figurehead (anyone please correct me if I’m wrong. I like to stay out of the nitty gritty when it comes to royal matters because I really don’t know enough about them). As a figurehead, would she have been the specific person to put those four people out of work? I really don’t know. I, too, see the royal lifestyle as excessive and mildly insulting to the British people. But is it fair to blame the Queen specifically for the monarchy, a system that has been in place for thousands of years? Please forgive me if I come across as completely ignorant.

      • Olenna says:

        @HoustonGirl, +1. As Kaiser said, her staff is probably is bloated, so she’s not suffering any hardships for letting go “redundant” staff.

      • FLORC says:

        To keep out of the nitty gritty the Queen is more than a figurehead. She has a lot of power. Power that isn’t often highlighted like her outfits our, but it’s very real.
        And she has a long history of being cheap with her dedicated employees. Handshakes and library tours are not bonuses. All while she shelters her family from any and all crimes while claiming more funds from the public.

        To call her a sweet old lady, charming, adorable, or anything else is to under estimate her greatly! Regarding pictures without knowing the facts t’s like some can look at Putin and say he’s handsome on horseback omitting the human rights violations and how terribly he treats his people.

  4. Kelly says:

    Redundant in this sense in not exactly redundant in the American sense. It more or less is simply synonymous with “laid off.”

    • Brittney B says:

      I’m an American, and I’ve always thought “made redundant” was synonymous with “laid off”. Am I wrong?

      • Ponytail says:

        If you’re made redundant, you have to be paid one week’s pay (there is a national maximum though)for every year you’ve completed (1.5 weeks if you’re over 40). If you are on a three month notice period, as I have been, you will also have to be paid that in full if they ask you to leave immediately. This is immune from tax and National Insurance. Lots of companies will offer extra money on top, according to whatever policy they have in place, ranging from “Nope, statutory is all you’re getting” to “How much do you want to disappear right now ?”.

        Redundant refers officially to the position, not the person. So they can’t rehire anyone in that post for at least six months. Also, as it’s not about the person, the company should make every effort to keep you there, and offer you another post of similar pay and grading. Sometimes this is not really to the employee’s advantage (ask me how I know…)

        You are entitled to claim jobseekers’ allowance immediately, and the second time it happened to me, I was also offered £500 towards ANY training I wanted – literally anything, roller-skating instructor training, flower-arranging, anything to make me more marketable in the job market 🙂

        What is unpleasant about this story is that so few people are affected – this means you have little workplace support, less likely to get union support and the rules are different from larger redundancies (the cut-off point is 20 employees). I loathe small redundancies like this, they make people feel isolated and at fault. Again, ask me how I know…

    • Sarah says:

      Exactly. Redundant is laid off. It seems there is no right answer here. The Palace is accused of being a waste of money. They try to cut costs and are still criticized.

      • FLORC says:

        It’s a band-aid. You can let go a few employees, but much of the spending is still out of control. This appears imo to be maybe at least 2 things. Release from employment for another reason… leaks? Or to appease. There was too much spending so some were fired. There are more than 4 employees that are repeating duties there. This appears to be a token gesture.

    • derpshooter says:

      I have always hated the British term “made redundant”. It sounds as though there is some innate negative quality to the person. “Laid off” on the other hand sounds more like something negative has happened to the person, which it has.

      On another note, if that last bit about the porters is true, that is wrong wrong wrong. I expect royalty to do better than that. And don’t tell me that it’s all handled by other people and the RF don’t realize blah blah blah. It’s their job, HER job, to know what’s going on in their name.

      • Hearthering says:

        Whilst I agree re the porters, if true, there can be an added difficulty depending on the terms of contract (most specifically ‘unwritten’ “custom and practise”). There is very often a fudged clause along the lines of “and all other duties considered reasonable” as part of the post.

        This is where something (terms outwith specific written protection) can become wrapped up as a ‘term of employment’ simply by it just having occurred, over time, and not been prior/immediately challenged as beyond the scope of post by employer/employee. It can be a difficult area to subsequently redress. NB: customs and practise can swing both ways (employer/employee benefiting) if allowed to just happen unchecked enough to establish a case for it as an acknowledged “term”.

        However, generally, a change to such fundamentals would require a formally negotiated change to ‘terms and conditions’. This may be done either through collective negotiation with Trades Union reps (if applicable) or with individual employees concerned. Again, duration of service, can give each employee differing framework/scope for accepting new terms (not unlike the aforementioned wks per yr of service – up to a maximum allowable under law).

      • Ange says:

        Really? I was made redundant a couple of years back and I felt it worked in my favour, it meant my job was gone but not because of anything I did. If I’d been ‘laid off’ to me it looks like I had a lot more culpability in it. Plus being made redundant is actually a term that carries with it certain employer responsibilities – I made out like a bandit when I was made redundant and I’d been planning to leave the job anyway.

  5. Brin says:

    We are not amused.

  6. Amanda says:

    So we complain that they spend too much public money and also complain when they lay people off to save money?

    • bettyrose says:

      Yes, because innocent, low income people are suffering for their excess. Lay offs should be the absolute last resort for cost cutting.

      • Sarah says:

        Easy to say, but in any business (and don’t kid yourself – the Royals are a business for Britain and a fairly lucrative one at that…think tourism) – salary and benefits are always the top line expenses in any balance sheet. Sure, they can turn the lights off in unused rooms and install LED bulbs or whatever…but at the end of the day there is rarely a way to significantly move the needle other than to impact wage/benefits.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Then I would ask whose salaries and whose benefits should be cut? Is purchasing desinger clothing and jewelry a benefit for the royals? If so, couldn’t that be cut before laying people off? I would think that would be the priority, especially in the current economy. Question: Who pays for the Monarchy? Do they have their own funds handed down from previous generations? Does England pay them and how – tax payers money? Are the castles they live in paid off as in do the royals actually own them or are they mortgaged? How does that all work?

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Okay, so, they received “…millions in public funding from The Sovereign Grant this year, from which she must cover the cost of official duties on behalf of the nation as well as run her official residences. ” Where does the money from the Sovereign Grant come from? Does this ‘grant’ grow from public taxes? Who in the heck pays for these people’s lifestyles?

      • Amy says:

        Tbh with a job like this layoffs should beat the forefront of every employees mind, and as I say that as someone who’s like to see this silly royalty extinguished.

        Smaller jobs that are redundant shouldn’t be kept only to keep things chummy with the staff and clearly the ‘firings’ are always going to be bottom-heavy in this circumstance.

      • *North*Star* says:

        The monies from the Sovereign Grant come from *income* generated by Royal Properties and the Royal Portfolio — not from taxpayers.

        George III handed over many lucrative lands and various buildings that the Royal Family were mismanaging to Parliament in exchange for a fixed percentage of that income in order for the BRF to live off. That has evolved into the Sovereign Grant (and it is only about 15% of the total income).

      • LAK says:

        Jenniferjustice: The Sovereign grant money is 15% of the profits of the crown estates. The other 85% goes into the treasury to pay for public services.

        Please note, one of the often repeated lies about the crown estates is that they belonged to the royal family once upon a time which makes people throw out the argument that we’d all be worse off if they ‘reclaimed’ the crown estates in the event of a republic.

        The crown estates were carved out back during the Norman conquest to pay for the instrument of government. Since the royal household, particularly the monarch, was the government, this included them in the payment. However, the Crown estates never belonged to them, they were merely administrators the estates. The revenues were supposed to pay for government eg parliament, army, Royal household. With time, the definition of government services has expanded to included Judiciary, Police, NHS and other public services.

        The governance of the crown estate became problematic for successive monarchs who frequently mismanaged it such that it was debt ridden. This recurring debt forced them to go to parliament to beg for tax raising measures to pay debts and ongoing obligations.

        In 1760, George 3 transferred the management of the crown estates to parliament in exchange for a portion that covered the royal household. This became a ‘salary’ of sorts and was termed the civil list. Over the years, it’s been re-negotiated as far as what it is allowed to cover rather than blanket payment for everything that constitutes the royal household.

        Unfortunately, the civil list was paid in arrears and was proving equally inadequate at meeting the costs of the royal household so it was renegotiated recently and decided that a blanket 15% of the crown estates profits should cover the costs, and renamed the Sovereign grant.

        A list of what is covered by the sovereign grant is available and annual accounts are made public every year.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        So, it sounds like the properties/assets were sold to the government who in turn, gives the royals 15% of it’s revenue incurred through interest generated but the priciple is maintained (probably invested in stocks). The 15% of the grant they get is suppose to cover all of their operating expenses – in American terms, a sort of trust fund/self-sustaining endowment.

        Thanks so much for enlightening me.

      • LAK says:

        JenniferJustice: it wasn’t sold to the government. It has always belonged to the govt, but managed by the sovereign. The management of it was transferred from the sovereign to the government with condition that the sovereign’s *expenses were met. Those expenses are what was known as the civil list and are now covered by the Sovereign grant.

        *Sovereign is/was still government which means their expenses in the service of govt is/was recompensed in the form of the civil list/sovereign grant.

    • derpshooter says:

      I think some of the problem is the perception that the lay offs are happening without much notice. If they are, that’s an awful way to treat long time staff who not only depend on the income but also the housing/utilities. I don’t know if it’s this way in England, but here in the States if you need to get your own housing quickly after leaving a job with housing you are screwed. No one wants to give you a loan or a lease because you don’t have documentation of your past good record of paying rent/mortgage and utilities on time. So not only do these folks no longer have a job and home, they may be having a hard time finding a new place to live with their “young families”. Maybe they are having trouble finding jobs too, isn’t the unemployment situation over there a bit bad?

      Of course, this is all based on the perception. Maybe they all really got 4 months notice or something. I wouldn’t trust the DM or the RF to really tell the truth, and how would I know if they did in any case?

      • Sarah says:

        Layoffs almost always happen with little or no notice. Oftentimes, employees will know that “something” is happening and will worry about layoffs, but very rarely to employers announce that layoffs are coming before the hammer actually comes down.

      • Tia says:

        Not in the UK. There are generally required consultation periods etc. when my company did it, I think it was 4 weeks

      • Jadzia says:

        If you work for a large enough company and the planned layoffs are extensive enough, the WARN Act in the US does require employers to notify.

  7. RobN says:

    I wonder whether senior staffers with longtime employment would also have young families. The two things don’t really seem like they go together. I should think the actual senior staff has probably been around for decades and is well past having young kids. Seems more like somebody trying to tick all the boxes when it comes to making a dismissal look even worse. I’m surprised they didn’t throw in a reference to somebody being ill just to top it off.

    • Hautie says:

      “I wonder whether senior staffers with longtime employment would also have young families. The two things don’t really seem like they go together…..”

      Ha! I was wondering the same thing. Senior staff… longtime employees… yet has a young family.

      But being accurate about anything related to this Royal family, is always highly embellished. I have never trusted the British press to print anything remotely truthful about them.

      You can’t sell those daily newspapers…. unless there is some scandal. Money being burn threw. And ungrateful rich folks. So the British have their Royal family to trash, for daily entertainment.

      We have all kinds of folks to trash in the US. But it is done in the weekly tabloids. And why would the actual truth of a story… have any business in selling those? 🙂

    • notasugarhere says:

      Look at the married pair who recently seem to have fled Anmer Hall back to the Queen. They have a 5 year old son. Let’s say they had both worked for the royals since they were 18 or 20. If they are around 40 now, they’d be long-time employees with small children. I can easily see that situation happening.

  8. psuedointellectual says:

    Betcha they got fired for talking to the Tabs.

  9. Sam says:

    On some level, these people can’t win. If she kept a bloated, large staff, she’s a tax money wasting leech and if she lays people off, she’s a cold heartless monster.

    I’ve never understood the British royals simply because they don’t have jobs. A lot of other European nations that have formally dispensed with ruling monarchies still have their “pretenders” but they have day jobs. A lot of them work in banking, finance or something like that. If I were a British citizen, the concept of the monarchy wouldn’t irritate me as much as the fact that they do not work (symbolic jobs aside). Would it be so hard for them? They could basically take the pick of any profession they wanted. And it would at least go slightly towards the argument that they’re totally non-productive.

    • Angel says:

      What senior European member of a royal family has a day job? Royal families decide who works for “the Firm” as a royal and who has to get a job. To my knowledge no one opens parliment in the morning and sees banking clients in the afternoon.
      BS everywhere, this whole thread is full of BS “facts”.
      The money to support the British royal family comes from revenues from their holdings, which is collected by the government and a percentage is then dispensed back to the royal family to manage themselves (very simplified version). They do not live off the taxpayers.
      If you don’t like/believe in the monarchy just say that, stop spouting nonsense.

      • Sixer says:

        The NATION’S holdings, Angel. Should the UK become a republic, those holdings would revert back to the nation. The BRF has private estates (eg Sandringham, Balmoral) but the Royal estates are only held by them on behalf of the nation. They do not own them. The nation does. They are paid for by taxpayers and revenues from estates that belong to the NATION.

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: the lie about ownership of the Crown estates is the greatest PR coup the royals have perpetuated on the public.

        It’s amazing how many people believe it.

      • Sixer says:

        LAK – come the (well, my) glorious day, I shall be quite happy to see the Windsors live off their private wealth. You know: that very small part of it that’s actually THEIRS! 😉

      • FLORC says:

        Crafty British royals.
        If it’s said enough and reported enough as the truth people will in time fall in line with it. USA history is littered with lies told enough times and carried by enough publications that they became facts, but still technically false and unconstitutionally imporper.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Minus all the paybacks, unpaid taxes, and unfair advantages those properties were given through the past two centuries. Their takeaway will be very small.

      • frisbeejada says:

        The other ‘crafty’ BRF PR bit is the ‘tourism angle’, please stop claiming they bring loads of tourists into the country, as Sixer pointed out above, they really don’t. Actually the biggest tourist attraction in the U.K is Stonehenge – which had quite a lot to do with Druids. Now if anyone can get Prince Phillip to prance around in white robes sacrificing a goat at Midsummer solstice THEN I might accept the tourism argument and who knows – it might even work as a direct link between the BRF and the Tourist Industry.

      • jane16 says:

        Agree, I don’t get the tourism claims either. How do they bring in tourists? Its not like tourists get to see them or anything. I’ve been to a lot of countries in my life, sometimes for work, sometimes to enjoy the country, sometimes for a specific event, like to see Clapton at Royal Albert, but never for anything to do with any royal family. I don’t get the adulation with the BRF, and the Queen in particular, at all.

      • FLORC says:

        Regarding Tourism
        Simply speaking. There are palaces that contain existing Royals and Palaces that do not. There are tourist attractions that are opened up for tours because there is no sitting Royalty residing in them or claiming them. That land and structure can be used to rent out or tour. There’s more revenue to be made without royals currently occupying.

  10. Sixer says:

    It’s not like redundancies are the only issue.

    Windsor Castle staff recently voted for strike action over pay increases and being forced to undertake extra duties for NO PAY:


    And before that, it was domestic staff being paid under the living wage:


    And… and… and… and… and… I would link to all of the poor pay and terrible conditions of people who work for Her Maj, but even the lovely Kaiser might baulk at the sheer number of them! But seriously, what’s the difference between Liz and the Walmart heirs? The Walmart heirs are better, that’s what. Because at least they’re not pretending to be the best of their bloody country. Gah.

    If you can’t pay your workers a living wage and you can’t give them non-exploitative working conditions, you cannot claim to embody the best values of the nation and you should…. well, you know what this Brit thinks the royals should do.

    • wolfpup says:

      Sixer, we do know that your heart lies in a place of real nobility.

    • FLORC says:

      Well said Sixer. Ranty, but it needed to be said 😉

      And no overtime, but still expected to work extra hours? Would anyone be defending that move if it wasn’t the BRF, but rather an evil Corp?

      • Sixer says:

        I’m all gingered up, FLORC, what with the wrong party having won the election! But yes, exactly. That’s why I mentioned Walmart – they’re the US ones everyone’s happy to snot on, but really, where’s the difference? We have a living wage movement here, similar to your $15 thing, but it’s not as noisy yet. I cannot see how THE QUEEN is not leading the way and yet we’re supposed to respect her commitment to the people of her country?

      • FLORC says:

        “gingered up”?
        And agree with you entirely. It’s worse that there’s the embodiment of the best of the country and then act like this.

        It’s not entirely on topic, but I read an article with a theory of how things like this happen. Back to the revolution percentages accounting for inflation were still less than now for everyone and there was a revolt! Now, with PR and activities to dull our minds (tv/apps/baby photos) we become complacent and let ourselves be used while feeling helpless to bring change.

    • LAK says:

      You know I enjoy all things royal, but my goodness is EIIR a bad queen. She’s self serving and self-trapped in aspic. She hasn’t done a thing that wasn’t already laid out by her predecessors and she only makes changes when there is a crisis that most regular people would have seen off long before it became a crisis. Case in point? These workers’ wages.

      I blame her 100% for unnecessarily spending £6M on WK’s residences then crying poverty because BP is falling down due to spending the funds on WK.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes, yes, and thrice yes.

      • bluhare says:

        I think so too, LAK. I know I’ve genuflected over HM in the past, but really she only gets it because she’s been queen so long. That brings some respect, but I couldn’t agree more about the passive aggressiveness and unwillingness to do things until she can’t step over all the things that have been brushed under the rug any more.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Like the other long-time monarch, Queen Victoria, who abandoned her duties and her people after Albert’s death. Yes, she reigned for many years, but what did she accomplish for the people during that time?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Has anyone seen the Great Houses of Scotland series? A couple of those landed gentry are inspiring in their efforts to take care of the estate and everyone who lives there.

      • Sixer says:

        No, what’s it called, NOTA? I’m too much of a leftie to be keen on paternalism, but it really is a darn site better than the royal alternative, isn’t it?

      • bluhare says:

        No; I’d love that. I remember reading something not too long ago about what Charles has done with Dumfries House in Scotland. He’s not exactly landed gentry though. 🙂

      • notasugarhere says:

        It was a series on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in the US. The two best episodes were Kincardine and Inveraray. It shows how much hard work goes in to keeping estates running.

    • Betsy says:

      The Walmart heirs are also very politically active in trying to undermine workers’ rights and pay. They have Liz soundly beat in the crap race.

      • *North*Star* says:


        Walmart sucks all around and the heirs are trying to undermine our political system too.


      • FLORC says:

        They do suck, but they’re not pretending to be something they’re not. Not in the same fashion the BRF is.

      • bluhare says:

        Oh I absolutely think that the Walton heirs and Walmart itself pretend to be things they are not.

      • MinnFinn says:

        I disagree. QEII and the peerage system have their own very effective crap-on-the plebs strategy. The monarchy and Peers in the UK have institutionalized snobbery so effectively it suppresses rising economic prosperity for non-upperclass .

      • FLORC says:

        They are and they aren’t. By majority they have an image crafted to make them look less like those people who refuse their employees more hours for benefits and keep the the poverty level to ensure their own employees need to spend at their stores.
        On the other side what MinnFinn said. The Monarchy takes it to a whole new level in pretending and hiding to suit their own actions and gains.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, the Walmart folks are very PR saavy. Don’t pay living wage, don’t provide jobs with enough hours for health care, promote men not women. Then create Walden Media and make everyone think you’re family-friendly by producing the movies Holes and the C. S. Lewis Narnia series.

  11. Amy says:

    Tbh this doesn’t seem horrible (well for the working staff yes, but being fired for any reason other than total incompetence always sucks).

    Until the people vote out the system of royalty it exists. The Queen and all her royal family aren’t going to fire themselves so when it comes time to cut costs clearly employees are going first. I’d think anyone willing to work for the royals would be smart enough to know that. I’m sure there is a lot of bloat and overlap too, and senior or not there are some frivolous positions just lingering in the hierarchy. Those rightfully should be eliminated.

    I don’t blame her for the firings. It’s been said above but in the US people are often let go and fired and the fact their jobs are ‘at will’ simply means they have to accept that when its time to cut costs their positions are more at risk than top level positions.

  12. Amy says:

    Also can I just say that last picture of the Queen is ridiculously adorable? Geez she’s such a lady of her time period.

  13. imho says:

    As has been proven many times before, palace workers have been treated quite shabbily by the queen. She could have saved at least two of these jobs by getting rid of that stupid new helicopter. Not to mention delaying the KP renovations.

  14. Liberty says:

    I once worked on a team of five. We were suddenly made redundant, as a cost-saving measure.

    At least that was the public line. The truth was that someone high up stupidly told us about something kind of terrible that place was covering up. Then someone on top found out that we knew. Horrified, they threw us right out in this very dumb clumsy way. They then tried to announce we were lazy, oh, no, we never came to work, etc., in addition to a sudden need to save cash. But our 60-70 hour weeks, electronic records, and what our work entailed (and a good lawyer) put an end to that talk.

    So……just wondering if the four senior staffers knew something savory too?