Royal plea: How Queen asked for pay rise and claimed family ‘couldn’t manage’


QUEEN ELIZABETH II asked the House of Commons for a pay rise in 1971 as the Royal Family could not manage any longer, unearthed reports claim. 

The Royal Family is hugely popular and celebrated worldwide. In 2011, millions of people in 180 countries watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and last year, thousands descended to Windsor Castle to get a glimpse of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as newlyweds. They represent, for better or for worse, the nation’s love affair with the past, but they are also the most expensive non political figureheads in Europe.

In 2018-19, the monarchy cost British taxpayers £67million during – a 41 percent  increase on the previous financial year, mainly due to critical renovations at Buckingham Palace. 

Direct funding to meet the monarchy’s official expenditure is now through the so-called “Sovereign Grant”, which replaced the 400-year-old Civil List in 2012 and grants-in-aid from Government departments.

The new system meant that Her Majesty no longer had to go cap in hand to the Treasury for a pay rise.

According to a throwback report by the Daily Telegraph, that happened in 1971, when the Queen joined the pay queue and in a request presented to Parliament, she announced that she just cannot manage any longer on the annual £475,000 Civil List grant, which was fixed in 1952.

The report reads: “It is believed she needed about £300,000 a year to do the same job.

“A major worry is the Palace wages which have soared to about £300,000 a year. 

“The Queen is believed to have transferred part of her personal income of about £200,000 a year from the Duchy of Lancaster estates to offset her general losses last year.

“And in making the request to Parliament, the Queen said she was willing to relinquish £60,000 a year, at present allocated to her for personal spending money under the title of the Privy Purse.”

The request for a rise was reportedly read out in the then Commons by Speaker Welwyn Lloyd.

The report added: “Queen wanted more cash for Prince Philip (at present, £40,000).

“Princess Anne (£6,000 now, £15,000 on marriage), Prince Andrew and Prince Edward (£10,000 from eighteen until marriage, and then £25,000).

“The Queen also wants more for the Queen Mother (at present £70,000) Princess Margaret (£15,000) and the Duke of Gloucester (£35,000).

“A further request is that provision should now be made for the Duchess of Gloucester and any future wife of Prince Andrew and Edward ‘in the event of any of them surviving her husband.’”

The Queen did get her pay rise, in the end.

According to royal biographer Robert Lacey, by a vote of 168 to 47, the House of Commons voted for a 4 percent per annum rise in the Civil list – and the Queen’s refusal to disclose details of her private income was accepted, along with exemption from tax.


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