Queen refuses to take pay rise during crisis and is ‘determined to carry on’

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The Queen has refused to take a pay rise – as Brits try to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.

Her Majesty will get an £85.9 million Sovereign Grant next year, including £33 million to repair her palaces.

However, the Crown Estate’s revenues have suffered during the pandemic, and the 2021 grant will be frozen at £86.3 million for the following year.

Michael Stevens, The Queen’s treasurer, has forecasted a £20m shortfall in the £369m budget for the work at Buckingham Palace.

He also said they faced losing £5m a year for the next three years from other income, mainly the Royal Collection Trust.

A palace source told The Sun: “Her Majesty understands that families across the country are having to make things go further and that should be the same for the palace.

“The expected shortfalls will not see any calls for extra money but just a determination to be visible and carry on.”

The palace has introduced a recruitment freeze for all but essential roles, and a payment freeze for all staff since April.

Sir Stevens added: “In responding to both these financial challenges we have no intention of asking for extra funding and will look to manage the impact through our own efforts and efficiencies.”

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Palace accounts show Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s trip to Africa cost taxpayers £245,000, making it the most expensive tour last year.

Prince Charles cost Brits £210,345 after chartering a plane to Oman on a two-day visit to pay his respects after the death of the country’s leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

A palace source told the Daily Express that the charter flight to Muscat and back to RAF Marham to attend a summit on Harry and Meghan’s future was at short notice, and that no commercial flights were available.

Prince Andrew spent £15,848 of public cash on a charter flight to watch the Open golf championship in Portrush, Co Antrim.

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Aides said a charter was the only way to fit in with his commitments.

In her role as patron of the Scottish Rugby Union, Princess Anne took a £16,440 charter flight to Rome to watch Scotland play.

A palace source said a charter was deemed the best option in terms of “security, efficiency and value for money”.

The accounts also show a £1m bill for the Duke of Gloucester and his wife to move into a smaller home – the Old Stables – at Kensington Palace. It included a total refurbishment.

  • Queen
  • Royal Family
  • Coronavirus

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