إمبراطورية مالية غامضة.. ما لا تعرفه عن ثروة العائلة الملكية في بريطانيا
What you see on the screen is a rare scene taken from an old episode, casted in 1969 of the "Meet the Press" news and interviews program which has been produced by the American channel "NBC" since that and until today On the left is the famous program host Lawrence Spivak, and on the right is his guest, the late Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Philip raised a very big controversy in the interview at the time, as he talked about the “suffering” of the British royal family due to the stability of royal allocations for more than 15 years which forced the family, according to his words, to rationalize its spending significantly expected that if the situation continues, they will move to homes Or smaller “palaces.” He also complained [pay attention to that comedy, please] that the Queen had to sell her own yacht to support the family, and that he himself was thinking of giving up polo, he loved, to rationalize expenses as well. As expected, these statements sparked great criticism from the media and some British government officials The debate over the role of the royal family flared. Why does it get such expenditure, privileges and costs that no other citizen enjoys in a country that is supposed to be democratic such Britain.
Although more than fifty years have passed since that interview this controversy in all its details still exists and is renewed at intervals In the last two or three years it has remained almost continuous due to the exciting events that put the late Queen and the family under spotlight, for example, what happened in 2019 When Prince Andrew was forced to give up his royal duties and titles a huge controversy erupted over the destination of the 300,000 pounds of allocations that were going to him annually. In 2020 also, when Prince Harry and Meghan gave up their royal privileges. The main question raised in this debate is why Britain in particular, unlike most European countries even the countries that are still subject to the monarchy,, are the ones who annually pay very large sums from the British taxpayer to maintain the welfare of the queen/king, their family, their travels, social events the maintenance of the luxurious palaces in which they live, the expenses of their safeguard and other clause that require expansions? While the rest of the countries either converted to the republican regime abandoning the entire legacy of the monarchy, or they pay their kings very little allocations. As you have noticed, the debate has an economic aspect that is no less important than its political aspect We are here today to take part in the ongoing debate over this account, and to answer some of the important questions as well: Who is this royal family? What is the size of its expenditure and how do they finance it specifically? Through the people or are there other sources? What is the size of the family's net worth and who controls that wealth? What is the nature of the assets of that net worth? Is it cash, real estate, gold, or something else? Does the royal family really generate returns to the British economy as their supporters claim? If this is true, what is the shape of those returns and their value roughly? This is a sample of the important and interesting questions that we will be discussing in today's episode, so watch it to the end. I'd like to remind you to subscribe to the channel, your subscription and interaction is what develops the content of the economic informant and maintains its quality Activate the bell button also to get notification about new episodes as soon as they are released. I am Ashraf Ibrahim and this is the economic informant…. This episode is sponsored by Vantage. It is one of the best trading companies in the world
and it provides all the services a trader needs. Each trader will get an account manager and technical support in Arabic You can increase your profits by joining the partnership program or the fastest growing IB to take advantage of Vantage's global reputation. To register, use the link below the video or the on at Facebook comments.. Let us start our episode by introducing the British royal family, and this definition is important because the prevailing perception is that the term “Royal Family” means hundreds or thousands of princes/princesses, but in Britain this purport is not accurate.
At the moment we are talking about a very limited number of royal figures with official duties After excluding Prince Harry and his wife Megan and their children, along with Prince Andrew by virtue of all of them abandoning their royal duties, and after the death of Queen Elizabeth herself a few days ago as well, we will find that we are talking about 7 main figures: the current King Charles, and his wife Camilla; Prince William, the heir apparent, and his wife Kate Middleton; Princess Anne, the king's sister [and the close daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth] who oversees about 300 charities; and finally Prince Edward, the king's younger brother, nominated for the title of the Duke of Edinburgh (Scotland) and his wife Sophie, ie 7 royal figures. It is possible to add to them now Prince William's young sons George, Charlotte and Louis, who will be the focus of attention as they are directly the next in the line of succession and heirship according to the royal laws. Those influential royal figures formed a royal elite class known historically as "The firm" or "Monarchy PLC" and they have controlled over the past decades the economic situation of the ruling family, which we will talk about shortly. It is clear that the late Queen Elizabeth and her heir, Prince Charles
had a clear goal in their later years, which was to reduce the royal circle and limit it to princes and princesses with duties and actual official presence to focus expenses, control reputation, and prevent rumors of there being a royal figure receiving government funds without having an official roles. After we have got to know the royal family, let's discuss the issue of financing, how do they spend and what is the source of their income? What many people do not know is that the British royal family has an official website, which is edited under the supervision of the palace, with the aim of providing a reliable source of information about the family, its history and expenditure. Among what is published on the site is an annual report covering the source of the royal family’s revenues.
Well, what are the most important sources? Three are the most important sources of the family income and they are as follows: The "sovereign grant", which is considered the most important source of funding for the throne's activities in Britain, in addition to the royalties of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall, and the proceeds of the "Royal Collection Trust", which includes the Queen's holdings of antiques, jewelry, paintings and other valuables. Starting with the sovereign grant, What kind of grant is it? In short, it is an amount of money that the royal family receives from the British government on an annual basis. Well, How much is this amount? Actually, according to 2021 data, that grant is estimated at £86.3m to be funded from government tax revenue, which is roughly the £1.29
that everyone in Britain pays annually out of their wallet to fund the family's expenses. The amount is currently divided into two main parts: a basic grant of £51.8 million, and an additional grant of £34.5 million for 10 years to fund a comprehensive maintenance program for Buckingham Palace that includes upgrading the electrical cables, plumbing, heating and infrastructure of the palace, which has not been modernized since the 1950s, targeting the preserving the safety of the palace, which is not just a residence for the current king or the former queen, but is more like a large museum that receives visitors all year round and generates great revenues for the British government.
Is there anything the government pays to the royal family other than that grant? In fact, there is a very large spending item that is not included in the grant, which is the insurance of the family, their property, their palaces and their movements inside and outside the country, and this item is not officially announced by the government. However, the famous “Brand Finance” company specialized in evaluating brands estimated that cost in 2017 at 104 million pounds sterling annually. Well, what makes the government pay such huge sums to the royal family? The truth is that this subject has a very significant historical background. Let us briefly mention it. In 1960, during the reign of former King George III, the royal palace owed a huge amount of money to the country’s government, as a result, the king made an agreement with the government that he would give up the revenues of palaces, real estate and royal lands and assign its management to the government in return for it dropping those debts. Plus, to grant him an annual financial grant to cover his personal expenses and official duties, which was known at the time as the "Civil List". At the time, this was a win-win agreement for both parties, because the government knew that this huge portfolio of land and property, if managed properly, would generate returns greater than the grant that would be paid to the king. On the other hand, the king wanted to get rid of his debts
as no one would like to owe such debt. In the same year of the agreement, a company called "Crown Estate" was established to manage the royal real estate portfolio for the government. At the same time, the government maintained the payment of the annual grant, in addition to 3 special grants for travel, communications, and maintenance of mansions, before the government decided in 2012 to include all these grants within one grant, known today as the Sovereign Grant, whose value is determined annually, provided that it does not exceed 25% of the revenues of the "Crown Estate". In 2021, the property portfolio managed by Crown was valued at around £16.5 billion ($19.2 billion)
and includes £8 billion worth of properties in London, commercial land across the country and a third of Britain's beaches. These properties achieve operating profits of 327.8 million pounds, 75% of this amount goes to the British government, and the remaining quarter is used to finance the expenses of the royal family The second source is the wallet of the queen/king.... It refers to the proceeds from the royal fief known as the Duchy of Lancner, which is a large portfolio of land, real estate, assets and farms owned by the throne valued at around £818 million. It generated revenues of £23.5 million in 2021. Most of that revenue is subjected to the Queen to spend alone (and for the present time the King), the King distributes his proceeds to his siblings, their families, his sons, servants, and his own expenses. It is important to note that the royal family's control is limited to the proceeds only, without the right to sell or dispose of the principal property and assets.
Other than the Duchy of Lancaster, the royal family controls a £1 billion portfolio of real estate and other assets known as the Duchy of Cornwall, which generated £25 m in revenue last year. Unlike the Duchy of Lancaster, the proceeds of Cornwell are a private purse at the disposal of the Prince of Wales, his family and his staff. Under Queen Elizabeth, that proceeds would go to Crown Prince Charles, his children William and Harry and their families (before Harry gave up his royal duties) as well as to pay their palace staff, fund the Prince Charles Charitable Foundation, and other expenses. Now that Charles' ascension to the throne, that sum of money will go to the new heir and Prince of Wales, William, his wife Kate and their children. We now turn to the third and final source of the royal family's expenses. It is the royal collection, which is a million pieces of antiques, jewelry, luxurious furniture, paintings, and pictures owned by the king, either personally or by virtue of his job and distributed in 13 inhabited or empty royal houses in Britain, and yes the number is exactly what you have just heard: one million Piece. These holdings include, for example, 30,000 historical and artistic paintings, 150,000 documents and paperwork, and more than 450,000 photographs, in addition to furnishings, furniture, ceramics, textiles, vehicles, weapons, armor, jewelry, watches, musical instruments, tableware, plants, manuscripts, books, sculptures, and others.
Most of these are displayed to the public either in royal palaces or museums open to visit, including palaces inhabited by kings and royals such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace which contain public pavilions open to visitors. These holdings are currently managed by a special body established for this purpose in 1993 under the name "Royal collection trust", whose function is to organize the presentation of these holdings to the public and to reap the largest possible returns from them. Those revenues are directly under the authority of the Queen or the King. In the 2021-2022 financial year, revenues were estimated at £10 million. Thus, this sum may be added to the Sovereign Grant and the earnings of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwell to get an approximate figure for the annual returns, of the British royal family, which is estimated at approximately 144.1 million pounds (about 165 million dollars),
and it includes official expenses, staff expenses and maintenance of the palaces, and the personal expenses of the royals and their families. Surprisingly, despite this large annual income of the royal family, none of them is classified among the lists of the world's rich, or even Britain's rich. That is, in the year 2020, Forbes estimated the total wealth of Queen Elizabeth and she was the richest member of the family at 350 million pounds (about 486 million dollars), including her personal belongings of jewelry and real estate.
The reason for their absence in the lists of billionaires is what we have just mentioned about the fact that most of the properties that generate revenue for the Crown are not owned by family members, but rather they benefit from it and its returns by virtue of their positions. Despite all this, there are now loud calls in Britain asking [after the departure of Queen Elizabeth who enjoyed symbolic value] why the country does not consider the way in which the royal family is being treated and their huge official allowances and tax privileges, especially since the current King Charles is less much popular than his mother the late queen. So, there is a tendency to reduce the main circle of the royals with official duties, following the example of members of the royal families in Scandinavia, such as Sweden, and even in Spain who receive a largely symbolic allowance. Here we come to the main point of controversy aforementioned in the introduction, are the British in general as a nation satisfied with the current situation or galvanized to change it? It is a normal that the existence of a particular family [which receives economic privileges merely by virtue of its royal lineage in a democratic country such as Britain] is controversial and resented by a good number of people. Surprisingly, however, is that opinion polls there indicate that the proportion of support for the monarchy exceeds 80%, and that many people believe that even if we ignore the symbolic aspect of the royal family and focus only on the economic aspect, the presence of the royal family is very profitable for the British economy, and its benefits exceed to some extent the big millions they get from the government.
How is that? Pay attention, first of all, proponents argue that the aforementioned Crown Estates, which together have an estimated value of more than $28 billion, are the inherent right of the British Crown and the royal family, and thus if the Government wants to give up financing the family, it must return that property to the family so that they can manage it themselves. In that case, the family will get much more revenue than the government finances. However, this point of view is very controversial, as all the feudal royal families did not earn this enormous net worth by legitimate means that make it their personal right. They rather controlled it by the virtue of the power they exercised over the country in certain historical periods, and in all other countries governments nationalized most of the real estate property of the royal families and eventually annexed it to the authority of the state, whether by force or through consensual agreements. That argument is not the strongest given by the proponents of the royal family, proponents' main argument revolves around the fact that the royal family has turned into a global brand that generates billions of dollars for the British economy on its own.
In fact, the Brand Finance to which we referred has estimated that the capital value of the UK monarchy as a business is £67.5 billion, a figure that is more than many times the value of all the assets of the British Crown, including the Crown Estate. The company also declared that this difference is simply the present value of the benefits that the monarchy is expected to bring to Britain's economy over the years. In 2017 alone, according to Brand Finance's, the family made £1.76 billion profit for the British economy
on top of the provisions it received. This amount includes the surplus revenues of the Crown Estate, in addition to the indirect returns of the monarchy on various industries. The company gives an example of this with the Queen's seal of some luxury industries which boosts the revenue of any brand it carries by at least 10%. Not only that, according to the company's estimates, Prince William, his wife Kate and their children George and Charlotte combined added nearly a quarter of a billion pounds to the UK economy in 2017 due to their corona effect, which increased sales of any brand they used, especially fashion brands. This effect includes the additional tourism revenue that the royal family is responsible for. According to figures from the British Tourism Agency, the country generates 500 million pounds in tourism revenue for historic royal sites such as the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.
The agency confirmed that among the 30 million foreign visitors who arrived in Britain in 2010, 5.8 million people visited the royal palaces. Another point also is the proceeds associated with royal parties and events: It is believed that the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for example, directly and indirectly generated $1.5 billion in additional revenue for the British economy, and the same is true to a lesser extent for the birthdays of young princes, the birthdays of princesses like Kate and any other events held by the royal family.
These are, of course, large numbers and not to be underestimated, but they have two main problems: The first problem is that these revenues are not direct revenues, we are talking about the value and indirect impact of the brand and it is possible that there will be a discrepancy in the assessment of this matter, amplifying or dwarfing according to the preconceived position on the whole subject. The second problem is that there is no evidence that all revenues will disappear without the royal family. If we take tourism as an example, a large number of people who visit the royal palaces will often continue to visit them even if they are no longer a residence for the royal family, similar to the royal palaces in neighboring countries such as the Royal Palace of Versailles in France, which turned into a tourist attraction visited by millions annually, although there is no longer any monarchy or French royal family. To make it short I shall conclude at this juncture, this was the story of the British Royal Institution, its net worth, revenues, and how the British deal with it.
At the end of this episode, as usual, I have a question for you that I would like to discuss in the comments: In your opinion, do the royal family’s expenses really represent a burden on Britain’s economy Or is it the family achieving gains for the country that actually exceed its expenses? Don't forget to join Vantage Company. Please hit the like button and share the video if you like the episode, and above all tell your friends and beloveds about us, they may like it. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel as agreed... Goodbye