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Queen Elizabeth II may see her income drop as a result of the downturned economy.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 12/5/2011 1:42:00 PM ET 2011-12-05T18:42:00

While she won’t exactly be stocking up on Ramen noodles, the Queen of England will have a little less in her purse for the next few years.

Queen Elizabeth II faces a freeze on her income through at least 2015 thanks to funding cuts for the royal household resulting from a recently passed law. Her income has already dropped in real terms since 2009 as she has joined the millions of others affected by the economic downturn.

The funding for the royal family has traditionally come from the civil list, a public fund controlled by the British Parliament. However, a law passed six weeks ago will replace the civil list with a single fund, the sovereign grant, in April 2013.

Video: Queen Elizabeth to see pay freeze until 2015 (on this page)

The sovereign grant will be 15 percent of the surplus money generated by the Crown Estate. The Crown Estate is a “diverse property business valued at more than 7 billion,’’ according to its website. It owns properties that include Regent Street and Great Windsor Park as well as “almost all of the seabed around the UK.’’ The Queen’s income will depend on how well the Crown Estate portfolio performs in a given year.

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The austerity measures most likely mean that repairs to the royal palace will be delayed and that there may be fewer public appearances by the royal family, whose travel expenses had previously been taxpayer-funded.

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With no extra tax funds to pay for the court of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate’s staff will be subsidized by the Prince of Wales, according to a report in The Sunday Times. The Prince of Wales’ income derives from the Duchy of Cornwall, which also is responsible for financially supporting Prince Harry and any future wife and children. The Duchy of Cornwall reportedly made 17.8 million last year, and although it will be paying for Will and Kate’s staff, structural repairs to Kensington Palace will still be taxpayer-funded.

According to the Sunday Times, the document related to the passing of the Sovereign Grant Bill reads, “The grant levels envisaged in the early years of the new system are, in real terms, below what the Royal Household spent in every one of the last 20 years.’’

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That most likely means a paycut for the Queen at least through April 2015. In 2010-11, the royal household had an income of 32.1 million, a far cry from the 77.3 million in taxpayer funding that the Queen once enjoyed back in 1991-92.

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Last summer, the keeper of the privy purse, Sir Alan Reid, indicated that if the funding for the royal household fell any further that it would most likely impact “the support of the Queen and the long-term health of the estate,’’ according to a report in The Telegraph.

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Video: Queen Elizabeth to see pay freeze until 2015

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