PressTV Tue Jul 17, 2012
Queen private estate passes £400m mark
The value of the UK Queen’s private estate has increased past £400?million for the first time amid the government’s crippling austerity policies and economic woes.
The Duchy of Lancaster, which funds the Queen’s privy purse private income, is now worth £405.3 million, up 5.8 percent or £22.1 million, its annual accounts showed.
The money is separate from the £32.3 million in government money received by the Queen to cover her official duties and travel costs of the royal family.
The duchy, established by Henry IV in 1399, owns the Savoy Estate - land and buildings between the Embankment and the Strand, not including The Savoy hotel - and substantial holdings in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The accounts show its income fell 8.6 percent to £12.7 million, mainly as a result of the refurbishment of Wellington House, an office block it owns at the corner of the Strand and Lancaster Place.
It invested £510,000 in refurbishing the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy, in Savoy Hill, which is due to reopen fully in September with an extension of the Queen’s robing room and the installation of a stained glass window to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
Duchy chief executive Paul Clarke, the Queen’s best-paid aide with an annual package worth £229,000, said difficult economic conditions had taken their toll on the estate.
“The continued recovery from 2009 has been shared across all parts of the portfolio... 2012 has not been an easy year for occupiers or the Duchy but the results for the year have shown the resilience of the Duchy portfolio in adverse financial markets”, he said.