U.K. austerity plans include the "Royal We"

Queen Elizabeth II arrives as part of the royal carriage procession on day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Well now to the U.K. where the government slogan for public spending cuts is: we are all in this together. Apparently that includes the "royal We." The conservative government there is now proposing a pay cut -- for the queen.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: On the face of it, Her Majesty may not be amused. In the planned financial shake up, she could receive in real terms 10 percent less than usual from the public purse. By 2015, that might amount to some $56 million year -- a paltry sum when you have five palaces to maintain, a small army of footmen, and a fleet of gilded horse-drawn carriages.

But campaigners against the monarchy say, don't be fooled by the new system. Here's Stephen Haseler.

STEPHEN HASELER: It's much more complicated and mysterious -- that's the word that comes to mind whenever I think of royal finance, is mystery -- than this straight deal would imply.

He says the royal household are funded in many different ways by the state. And he reckons the monarchy costs the British taxpayer $320 million a year -- more than double the cost of the Dutch royal family, and eight times the cost of Germany's presidency.

In London, I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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