Royal Family not facing ‘Armageddon’ despite enduring financial shortfall in pandemic


THE ROYAL FAMILY is not facing “Armageddon” despite facing a significant blow to their income last year due to the pandemic, a tax adviser told Express co uk.

The project, predicted to cost £369million, is forecast to fall £20million short because of the long-term consequences of the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil the Budget next week, and after such substantial losses, there was a chance the royals could see an increase in financial support.

However, the Sovereign Grant, the annual amount the monarch receives from the taxpayer, is expected to stay at £86.3million for the next few years.

The Queen was also not looking for a Government “bailout”, according to Palace aides back in September.

Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Michael Stevens said: “We have no intention of asking for extra funding and will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.”

Indeed, tax adviser David Lesperance told that the royals — like everywhere else — will recover from the pandemic in time.

He said: “I take Covid very seriously, but it’s not Armageddon.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II (Image: Getty)

Rishi Sunak presenting the Spring budget last year

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce the Budget on Wednesday (Image: Getty)

“There will be a new normal.”

He continued: “They know that, this too, shall pass.

“And then — probably a year away — there will be a year where people will want to do all sorts of travel.”

Speaking back in December, Mr Lesperance explained: “If I were handling their finances, I would think, ‘Your revenues are going to come back, at some point in the future’.”

He explained that he would also urge the Queen to employ transparency with her fiances, and even said she should have given a lump sum payment to the public to help with the pandemic recovery.

“But one should equally remember that in the last nine years, the Sovereign Grant has really gone up and up and up.

“It’s actually gone up by two-thirds in the last nine years and if you look at inflation, inflation has only gone up 20 percent, so they really have had a rise of income in the last decade or so.

“Now it’s sort of flattening out and plateauing so, yes, they have a problem, but they’ve really had good times for the last nine years or so.”

Shortly after the Palace’s shortfall was announced, unearthed documents revealed the Queen had successfully lobbied the Government to conceal her private wealth from the public.

The Royal Family for Trooping the Colour 2019

The Royal Family is not facing “Armageddon” according to Lesperance (Image: Getty)

Royal finances

How the royal finances work (Image: Express)


An investigation from The Guardian earlier this month looked into the National Archives and revealed the Queen’s private lawyer pushed ministers to alter proposed legislation to prevent her shareholdings being publicised.

The Government then included a clause to exempt any companies used by “heads of state” from adhering to the new transparency measures.

The Queen had asked her lawyer to implement the measure back in 1973, when the new transparency bill was proposed.

It did not come into effect until 1976, but as the topic has returned to the mainstream this year, questions were raised about the use of the Queen’s “consent” over various pieces of legislation.

A spokesperson for the Queen explained: “Queen’s consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of the sovereign purely formal.

“Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by the Government.

The Queen in 1973

The Queen in 1973, when she acted to conceal her private wealth (Image: Getty)

“Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by Parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch.

“If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”

The royal finances have come under particular scrutiny in the last year following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit, too.

They used £2.4million of the taxpayer’s money to renovate their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage before choosing to leave the Firm.

They have since repaid it in full and added on an additional lump sum as rent to keep the property going, despite having laid down permanent roots in California.

It was clear the couple were intent on their promise of becoming “financial independent” from the monarchy.


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