The cost of the British monarchy to the taxpayer rose slightly
during the last financial year, Buckingham Palace accounts showed
Queen Elizabeth II cost the public purse Â£32.3 million ($50.6
million, 40.0 million euros) in 2011-12, a rise of Â£200,000, or
0.6 percent, from the last financial year.
The royal family's travel costs rose by Â£100,000 to Â£6.1
million, the annual royal public finances report revealed, while
upkeep of royal properties rose from Â£11.9 million to Â£12.2
But the cost of the Buckingham Palace press office, which
maintains the royal website, fell from Â£500,000 to Â£400,000.
Funding for the royal household known as the "Civil List", much
of which is used to pay the queen's staff, fell by Â£100,000 from
Â£13.7 million to Â£13.6 million.
Buckingham Palace said spending had decreased by 26 percent in
real terms in three years, reflecting wider government targets to
cut public expenditure by 25 percent over four years as it
battles to cut Britain's huge deficit.
"When the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his plans for the
public expenditure to reduce by 25 percent in real terms over a
four-year period, the Queen was very keen that the Royal
Household should play its part in reducing its expenditure
accordingly," said Sir Alan Reid, Keeper of the Privy Purse.
"We are pleased to report that we have achieved this reduction a
year ahead of the public expenditure target."
Reid added that celebrations for the queen's diamond jubilee will
require the royal family to dip into its reserves in the next
financial year, which began in April.
Britain held four days of huge public celebrations last month to
mark the queen's 60th year on the throne, including a
star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace and a 1,000-boat
pageant on the River Thames.
The BBC paid for the production of the concert while private
donations funded the river pageant, but it is not yet known how
much the celebrations have cost the taxpayer.
The 85-year-old queen and her husband Prince Philip have been
touring Britain since March as part of celebrations to mark her
60th years on the throne, while other royals are travelling the
globe, from Canada to Tuvalu.