The Telegraph newspaper has reported that in a new public relations drive by monarchists the government is negotiating with the Windsor family to reduce their taxpayer handouts in a way “acceptable to both parties”. The newspaper said that the clan would be losing “a significant amount of their £39.9 million annual income. The cut was said to be intended to show that the family was sharing the pain of British citizens as real incomes decline and public services are cut back.
The truth is that the clan will continue to receive incomes that would be thought extraordinarily excessive in any other democratic country. While the President of USA is paid $400,000 a year as executive president, Britain’s ceremonial head of state, Elizabeth Windsor receives £12m a year from the Duchy of Lancaster alone. She is one of the richest people in the world. Her son Charles, who has no public employment, is paid £16m a year from the Duchy of Cornwall. There is no plan to reduce these payments.
Some savings will be made however. The Telegraph also reported that 24-hour police protection for two obscure “princesses” may be “scaled back”. Despite this, the cost to taxpayers of protecting the clan will still be enormous. Although the figure is secret it has been estimated at around £50m a year.