Queen Elizabeth, Royal Family advisers criticized for overspending

By Daniel S Levine,

The British Royal Family’s advisers have been criticized by a U.K. government report, which blames them for mismanaging Queen Elizabeth II’s finances. The Parliament report noted that costs could have been cut in various areas.

The Public Accounts Committee’s report said that the Queen had not been “well served" by the Royal Household and the Treasury, which also helps in managing the family's finances.

"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,” the report states.

Chair Margaret Hodge noted that the Royal Household spent more than it took in, reaching £33.3 million, passing the £31 million grant received from the government. “The Household needs to get better at planning and managing its budgets for the longer term – and the Treasury should be more actively involved in reviewing what the Household is doing,” Hodge wrote.

The committee also advised the family to try to bring in a higher income. They said that the family has come a long way in recent years, but, “With better commercial expertise in place, we think there is room to do more with less, reducing costs further and supporting The Queen’s programme more effectively.”

In an interview with the BBC, Hodge suggested that Buckingham Palace be more open to the public. “The Queen can attract income - visitors to Buckingham Palace - but Buckingham Palace is only open 78 days a year, they only have about half a million visitors,” she said. “Compare that to the Tower of London - they have over 2 million visitors.”

In response, the palace said that it has had to take on expensive restoration jobs recently, notes the LA Times.

“Recent examples of work include the renewal of a lead roof over the Royal Library at Windsor and the removal of asbestos from the basement of Buckingham Palace,” the palace said in a statement. “The need for property maintenance is continually assessed.”

image: Wikimedia Commons

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